MAJ President Dr. Andrew Manning
The Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) has made an urgent appeal for the Ministry of Health to authorise the use of the drug Ivermectin in the management of COVID-19, amid a surge in cases.
In a news release Thursday afternoon, MAJ said the medication has been safely used for decades in the effective treatment of certain parasites in humans.
MAJ President Dr. Andrew Manning said the drug has proven to contain anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties which can guard against the SARS CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
He believes the drug can be used to reduce hospitalisation, severe disease and death.
"There is considerable evidence that has demonstrated this drug to be effective in terms of bringing down your case numbers and also in decreasing mortality rates. The issue now is that a lot of different dosing regimes are being utilised and this is where I think the government has to step in and, based on the evidence that is there so far, incorporate it, set the correct doses or advise us on what doses to use, and incorporate it into the treatment protocol," he suggested.
Dr. Manning said Ivermectin also appears to have "relatively low levels of side effects," in addition to it being shown in peer-reviewed evidence to decrease case count and death rates when used in the treatment of all stages of COVID-19.
Furthermore, he argued that the drug is already being used in Jamaica but has increased in price because of demand.
He suggested that "if the authorities were to allow for the importation of adequate stocks of this drug for use with COVID-19," it would "be more readily accessible after being prescribed by a qualified medical practioner."