MANILA, May 23 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Science and Technology has scrapped its clinical trial on the use of antiparasitic drug ivermectin for COVID-19, its chief said Monday.

The study found it difficult to get ethics clearance and the Department of Health has decided to use the nearly P48-million fund on other matters, said DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

“Ang pinakafinal decision namin ang recommendation ng Department of Health kasi sila rin naman ang nagrekomenda ng trials. Sila rin naman ang nagrecommend na itiigil ang trials at isave na lang ang almost P48 million for other purposes,” he said.

There was also no new information available internationally on ivermectin, Dela Peña said.

“Ang grupo na binuo for our trial ay member din ng international network at ‘yun nga ang kanilang sinasabi, wala pang dumadating na anything that is clear na may benefits sa ivermectin,” he said.

Few patients were able to participate, while suppliers of ivermectin refused to join the study when they were informed of its purpose, Dela Peña said.

“Nahirapan kami kumuha ng supplier ng gamot. ‘Pag nalaman nilang gagamitin sa trial ay umaatras sila. Natatakot siguro sila ang effect ay makasira ang market,” he said. (MNS)

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