What Is Ivermectin and Why Is It Getting So Much Bad Press Lately?

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Ivermectin is an an­ti-parasite medication manu­factured by Merck and FDA “approved for the treatment of strongyloidiasis of the in­testinal tract and onchocer­ciasis.” It is used to treat head lice and rosacea as well, and has been used successfully to treat COVID patients in India, Argentina and South Africa, nations which benefit from the drug’s availability and low cost.

Dr. Nathi Mdladla, head of the intensive care unit at Durban’s George Mukhari Academic Hospital, told the BBC that during the early months of COVID, “People were dying and doctors were looking at many treatment options to try and save lives. Ivermectin was one of the drugs doctors repurposed.”

In April 2020, an Aus­tralian team of researchers at Melbourne’s Monash Bio­medicine Discovery Institute published promising lab studies.

“We found that even a single dose could essentially re­move all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hour there was a really significant reduc­tion in it,” Dr. Kylie Wagstaff, the leader of the study, said in a statement.

Another April 2020 study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah found that “critically ill patients with lung injury requiring mechanical ventilation may benefit from administration of Ivermectin,” ABC News reported. They re­ported a lower mortality rate.

ABC News wrote that “ex­perts suggest that [ivermectin] essentially treats [COVID] like [a parasite] and blocks the viral RNA [ribonucleic acid] from invading healthy cells … giving the patient’s immune system more time to fight [the illness] off.”

The scientist who devel­oped ivermectin more than 40 years ago was awarded the No­bel Peace prize for his life-sav­ing discovery in 2015. Pills average $5.40 a piece at U.S. pharmacies. The Pfizer “vac­cine” averages $20 a dose.

If ivermectin showed such early promise in 2020, why hasn’t it been approved for emergency use? That may have something to do with a new drug Merck has been develop­ing specifically for COVID.

In June 2021, Merck signed a $1.2 billion deal with the U.S. government for 1.7 million courses of an “investigational antiviral treatment, molnupira­vir (MK-4482), for COVID-19, pending emergency use au­thorization.” The federal gov­ernment has promised to pay Merck $705 per course of the new COVID medication which has not yet received FDA ap­proval.

In the meantime, anec­dotal responses worldwide show ivermectin to poten­tially be a low-cost, effective treatment worthy of greater study.

1 COMMENT

  1. Why did this Fox News rehash trash rag start getting tossed onto our driveways in the Conejo Valley? Today I received your latest religious inspired lie-fest that is almost entirely devoted to Covid disinformation? You have Peter Austin, actuary, not scientist of any kind, paying for a 2 page ad in your November rag telling us about the glory of covid cures laced with lies, civil disobedience and utter stupidity. Please take your religious fueled hate and go somewhere else.

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