By OLIVER SAMBOKO
Zambia is to commence clinical trials of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19.
Ivermectin will only be used in approved clinical trials where participants will be closely monitored and generated evidence shall inform policy on the prevention or treatment of COVID-19; after which members of the public will be informed of the outcomes.
A statement from the Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has allowed clinical trials to study the efficacy of the drug which is already under study in neighbouring Zimbabwe and other countries overseas.
Zimbabwe has already approved the mass importation of the veterinary anti-parasitic drug for treatment of COVID 19 patients. This follows that country’s Ministry of Health directive to the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) to approve the use of Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.
ZAMRA Senior Public relations Officer Christabel Mutale Iliamupu said in a statement that the decision to undertake the study comes after the continued monitoring of developments by ZAMRA regarding the use of Ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 adopted by some countries in the SADC region.
She said the Authority has noted the position adopted by some countries within the region to allow for use of ivermectin in a controlled-access program under supervision.
The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) wishes to inform members of the public that the Authority has continued monitoring developments regarding use of Ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
ZAMRA has noted the position adopted by some countries within the region to allow for use of ivermectin for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 on compassionate grounds in a controlled-access program under supervision,” she said.
Ms Iliamupu said in view of inadequate clinical evidence on the efficacy of Ivermectin for treatment and prevention of COVID-19, the Authority will explore the efficacy of ivermectin for treatment and prevention of COVID-19 before coming up with an informed decision.
Mrs Iluamupu also said the ZAMRA will continue to support researchers who intend to investigate possible treatment or prevention of COVID-19 by expediting the review process of the applications for conduct of clinical trials and importation of investigational medicinal products.