Ivermectin gets green light, but experts await better data sets

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Ivermectin gets green light, but experts await better data sets

Pundits are divided, but the regulatory authority has, with caution, introduced a ‘controlled-access programme’

Senior science reporter

It’s the drug everyone’s talking about and ivermectin will now make its way, legitimately, into the hands of doctors countrywide as they try to save patients from a Covid-19 death.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has stood firm in its conviction that there isn’t sufficient data to authorise the drug in general or put it on the protocol for treating Covid-19, but on Wednesday it announced that it has authorised a limited “compassionate and controlled-access programme” for ivermectin.

Detailed guidelines for what this controlled access will entail will be revealed later in the week and “evolve” as data emerges, but in general a controlled-access programme is limited acquisition of a product for people with serious or life-threatening conditions while clinical trials are still taking place...

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