The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) vowed to run after those who would sell and distribute the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin in the country.
CIDG director Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro said the move is in response to the instruction of no less than President Duterte himself to conduct operations against the unauthorized use of Ivermectin.
“As the country is facing one of its toughest battles, fighting COVID-19, the Government is seeking ways and means to even out this fight, from finding cures to hindering criminals or those with criminal intent from taking advantage of the scare brought by the pandemic,” said Ferro.
“In response to PRRD’s (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) directive last March 24, 2021 and in coordination with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the CIDG has taken appropriate action on said occurrence by directing its operating and field units to implement measures to monitor the dispense and use of Ivermectin across the country and to conduct investigation and intensified police operations against any violations of Republic Act 9711 and of the FDA’s Compassionate Special Permit (CSP),” he added.
Ferro explained that the police action was also in response to the reports about the presence of what it described as ‘unregistered anti-parasite drug known as Ivermectin” in the market to counter COVID-19.
He said the use of Ivermectin is contrary to the FDA approval, noting that it was only authorized to be used for animals.
“Thus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through its released advisories and press statement on the purchase and use of said drug, also requested the Local Government Units (LGUs) and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to ensure that said product will not be sold or used in their respective areas of responsibilities,” said Ferro.
Several lawmakers have been actively advocating the use of Ivermectin, with Anakalusugan partly-list Rep. Mike Defensor was even reported to be offering free distribution of the anti-parasite drug.
Advocates of Ivermectin said that it is safe and was actually used in other countries, despite pronouncements from health experts that its effect as anti-COVID drug is yet to be established.
Critics, however, said that the advocacy to use Ivermectin is an indication of desperation in the country in dealing with COVID-19 amid the upsurge of cases since last month.
Ferro vowed to go after those who will violate the provision of local laws that makes the use of some drugs, including Ivermectin, other than the medical parameters to which their use was approved.
“The CIDG will assist the FDA in suppressing or deterring lawless elements in their criminal acts of endangering the well-being of the community,” said Ferro.
“We strongly advise the public to seek professional help and opinion before using the said drug and buy only from authorized sources. We also encourage them to report any illegal dispense and use of the said medicine” he added.