The pushback against ivermectin for covid

Ivermectin is a well-known anti-parasite drug, cheap to make and proven to be safe, that a lot of physicians think is effective against Covid-19.

Several states in India tried it out.  New Covid-19 cases dropped dramatically.

Ivermectin results in three Indian states, vs. one where it was banned

The reaction of India’s public health agency?  Astonishingly, following the guidance of the World Health Organization, they dropped invermectin from a list of recommended treatments.

Physicians in India are still free to prescribe invermectin, but the only treatments with the official seal of approval are the expensive vaccines made by major drug companies, all still in short supply in India. 

I don’t see how this decision benefits anyone except the drug companies themselves.

Nick Corbishley, posting on the Naked Capitalism blog, tells the story:

India’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has executed a policy reversal that could have massive implications for the battle against covid-19, not only in India but around the world. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, are at providing stake.

Providing no explanation whatsoever, the DGHS has overhauled its COVID-19 treatment guidelines and removed almost all of the repurposed medicines it had previously recommended for treating asymptomatic and mild cases.

They include the antibiotic doxycycline, hydroxychloroquine zinc, ivermectin and even multivitamins. The only medicines that are still recommended for early treatment are cold medicines, antipyretics such as paracetamol and inhaled budesonide.

“No other covid-specific medication [is] required,” say the new guidelines, which also discourage practitioners from prescribing unnecessary tests such as CT scans.  [snip]

The decision to remove ivermectin, multivitamins and zinc from the treatment guidelines is hard to comprehend given the current state of play in India — unless one assumes foul play.

After suffering one of the worst covid-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, India is not just flattening the curve, it is crushing it.

And the widespread use of ivermectin, a potent anti-viral and anti-inflammatory with an excellent safety profile, appears to have played an instrumental role.  [snip]

Other countries in the region have already taken notice. Indonesia just approved the use of ivermectin in Kudus, a local contagion hotspot.

This is the last thing the World Health Organization (WHO) and the pharmaceutical companies whose interests it broadly represents want.

As such, it was no surprise that WHO was delighted with the DGHS’ policy reversal. “Evidence based guidelines from @mohfw DGHS – simple, rational and clear guidance for physicians,” tweeted WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, of Indian descent. “Should be translated and disseminated in all Indian languages.”  [snip]

It’s worth noting that while India’s DGHS has dumped most cheap off-patent treatment options against Covid, including even multivitamins, more expensive patented medicines continue to get the green light.

They include Gilead’s prohibitively expensive antiviral Remdesivir, which DGHS continues to recommend for “select moderate/ severe hospitalized COVID-19 patients,” even though “it is only an experimental drug with potential to harm.” It has also authoriszed the use of the anti-inflammatory medicine tocilizumab, which costs hundreds of dollars a dose.

Source: Naked Capitalism.

I’m not a physician.  Nobody should look to me for medical advice. 

I follow the advice of my own physician unless I have a good reason not to, and, in that case, I change physicians.  (I’ve done that twice in my life, once with a physician and once with a dentist.)

But I see no good reason why physicians should be prevented or discouraged from using their best judgment on using legal treatments for Covid-19.

I have nothing against vaccines.  I was vaccinated the first chance I got, with the Moderna vaccine both times.

I’d be pleased if everybody got vaccinated.  But vaccines aren’t available to everybody, and may not be for a long time.

I’m willing to entertain the possibility that ivermectin is over-rated, although I’ve seen no evidence of that. 

If it is just coincidence that the Covid-19 infection and death rate drops in places where ivermectin has been tried, the critics ought to be able to come up with some examples of places where it has been tried and things got worse.

If the usefulness of the treatment is “not proven” by some extremely rigorous test, why is there no effort underway to conduct such a test?

It is in the financial interest of the drug companies for the Covid-19 virus to never be totally eliminated, but, like the ‘flu, to persist and require continual new immunizations.

Could this be their motive?  I don’t have any way to read their minds.

But I have learned after many years to never say, “Such-and-such could not happen, because no-one in a position of authority could be so stupid.”

Maybe I also should never say, “Such-and-such could not happen, because no-one in a position of authority could be so monstrously evil.”


WHO Celebrates as Indian Health Regulator Removes Ivermectin from its Covid-19 Protocol by Nick Corbishley for Naked Capitalism.  Worth reading the whole way through.  Source of the first chart.

GRAPHS OF INVERMECTIN COUNTRY USAGE by the Front-Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance.  Source of the second chart.

Testimony of Pierre Kory, M.D., on Dec. 8, 2020, before the Homeland Security Committee on early treatment of COVID-19.

Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19 by Drs. Paul Marik, Pierre Kory, Joseph Varon, Gianfranco Umberto Meduri, Jose Iglesias and five others for the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance.

Global trends in clinical studies of ivermectin for COVID-19 by Morimasa Yagisawa, Patrick J. Foster, Hideaki Hanaki and Satoshi Omura for the Japanese Journal of Antibiotics.


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4 Responses to “The pushback against ivermectin for covid”

  1. Word from the Dark Side – the right to party, crypto revelations, restricting efficacious meds and riding the (mall) lightning | SovietMen Says:

    […] infection rates are plummeting there like no where else in the world. However, I found that Phil Ebersole has already written what I was going to say: ivermectin very likely has something to do with […]


  2. luisman Says:

    Agree with your general displeasure that bureaucrats decide what meds you can get. On the other hand, that’s the 2nd hype about a cure (1st was HCQ), and most of the small scale studies on inpatients show no effect at all.

    The effect on outpatients seems to be significant, but as COVID-19 is such a strange desease, in that it effects only a very small percentage of those who are infected (or tested positive), it’s really hard to evaluate if people recovered naturally or due to Ivermectin.

    And all the waves we had around the world, always look like waves, as they would normally look in a natural spread. If a medicine had a significant effect, I’d expect the 2nd half of the wave to be a more or less linear drop.

    In the Philippine hospitals they also prescribe the two super-expensive meds, even though they are not really available. Tocilizumab may even have a real effect, as it prevents blood clotting in the head and brain area (you might want to take one an hour before the non-vaccine). 😉


    • philebersole Says:

      If you’ll click on the links, you’ll find many examples of the success of ivermectin in the field and in small-scale clinical studies. All of these examples would be weak evidence individually, but, in my opinion, make up a strong case cumulatively.

      I think that at this point it is up to the invermectin skeptics to point to examples of where it failed in the field or in small-scale studies, or to fund the rigorous FDA-approved clinical trial they say is lacking.

      Why the suppression of discussion of ivermectin by Google and Facebook? What are they afraid of?

      Liked by 1 person

      • luisman Says:

        I followed the small scale studies and remain hopeful. However, even the pharmacological mechanism of action regarding the virus or the (even more dangerous) hull of the virus is still unclear.

        I had to go back to my statistics lessons from 40 years ago several times during the last 18 months, in order to try to get an objective view. It’s often hard not to fall for correlations which seem to be so obvious but aren’t.


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