Of all the controversial Covid-19 therapies, ivermectin presently holds a special place.
Proponents say it is vital to both prevention and treatment of Covid-19. Proponents are found in positions of responsibility in health centers around the world.
Critics take one of three positions:
- The evidence on ivermectin thus far is weak and more study is needed;
- There are more promising options, and ivermectin research is a low priority.
- This is an example of an unproven therapy being promoted without adequate evidence.
CovidStrategies takes no position on the ivermectin controversy other than this:
- We believe ivermectin should be fully and fairly evaluated.
- We believe the same about other repurposed drugs and integrative therapies.
- We also believe that different evidentiary standards apply under different circumstances.
We do note the following:
- Other therapies have been promoted in mainstream use without the level of evidence being required of ivermectin (plasma from recovering Covid patients is a prime example, and it has not worked out well).
- Vast investments have been made in vaccine research. Ivermectin is a cheap, globally accessible, widely used and inexpensive drug with a good safety profile. Should it prove to be beneficial, the consequences would be of great importance.
- To achieve global herd immunity, we need to vaccinate the world. The likelihood of this is low. Variants will proliferate and test vaccines. If any low-cost repurposed drug proves effective, we’d reach the places vaccines won’t reach and better control the spread of variants.
- Given that variants are breaking through the vaccines, we’ll likely need regular updated vaccinations nationally and globally, as with the flu. If any cheap repurposed drug impacts prevention or treatment, it should be evaluated rapidly.
On March 31, WHO released this statement:
“WHO advises that ivermectin only be used to treat COVID-19 within clinical trials. The current evidence on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive. Until more data is available, WHO recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials.Mar 31, 2021″
We will continue to report on all sides of the ivermectin controversy, wherever it leads. We are neutral on ivermectin and all other controversial Covid-19 therapies. But we do believe in the urgency of full evaluation of this widely used, inexpensive drug with a good safety profile.