Reports of Ivermectin approval 'fake news', says Sahpra

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 A general view of the drug Ivermectin.
A general view of the drug Ivermectin.
Photo by Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas
  • Reports that Ivermectin has been approved for use as a medicine in SA are fake, Sahpra says.
  • A screenshot of a supposed news report has been circulating on social media.
  • The health department also confirmed the reports were false.

The Department of Health says a report that Ivermectin has been registered as a medicine in South Africa is "fake news".

The department responded to a screen shot of a SABC News social media post, with a breaking news tag, claiming the medication had been approved for use.

Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi's spokesperson, Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota, said the reports were incorrect and that the medication had not been approved for use in Covid-19 patients and without doctors having undertaken a Section 21 process with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).

In terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, a Section 21 application is used to apply for the prescription of medicine not registered for human use in South Africa.

READ | Ivermectin settlement: 'Sanctity of human life' top of mind, says ACDP

Sahpra spokesperson Yuven Gounden confirmed the reports were false. 

Sahpra added, in a social media post, that the image appeared to be "an old screen shot" that was being circulated.

In February, Sahpra agreed to allow doctors, in cases deemed urgent, to start Ivermectin treatment as soon as a Section 21 application had been submitted without waiting for the application's outcome.

Sahpra was hesitant to allow the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19, saying there was not enough clinical evidence to support this.

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