The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has announced that it will be facilitating a controlled, compassionate access programme for the use of the anti-parasitic drug, Ivermectin.
The drug which before now, was not approved for human use in South Africa, has gained popularity recently for its supposed benefits for the treatment of COVID-19.
SAHPRA Chief Executive Officer, Doctor Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, however, emphasized that there was not enough scientific evidence to enable a regulator to make a decision on the drug’s use but the programme would be open to all patients, with the healthcare professional being responsible for the application and monitoring of the patient.
She also said there is anecdotal evidence of the current, illegal use of the drug on the black market.
Meanwhile, the country is bracing up for the roll-out of a nationwide vaccination programme as the first batch, meant for healthcare workers is expected to leave the Serum Institute in India for South Africa on January 31.