The anti-parasitic medicine Ivermectin is not being used to treat COVID-19 patients, according to the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).
Its president, Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh, said that since January, private hospitals have been treating COVID-19 patients using treatment protocols that have been approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and international medical societies based on evidence-based guidelines and that Ivermectin is not being used.
“APHM has consulted most of its 152 members and none of them are currently using the parasitic medication Ivermectin for their COVID-19 patients.
“Although the MOH has some of their hospitals conducting clinical trials on Ivermectin, however, none of the private hospitals are participating in the trial. Private hospitals may only use this medication after approval with detailed guidelines from the government. However there has been no indication on this as yet,” he said in a statement dated 26th July 2021.
He said the Ministry of Health recently announced that Ivermectin would be prescribed as an “off-label” treatment for COVID-19, but the parasitic medication would have to be administered in a monitored environment. Meanwhile, private hospitals are cautious in using any medication that is still in the research stage with no concrete evidence of its efficacy.
APHM has also ensured that none of its members has prescribed Ivermectin to any patients for the treatment of COVID-19 in any category, according to Dr Kuljit.
According to him, APHM refutes misleading info circulating on social media that some private hospitals have had some success with this medicine, which is not approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
He further said that private hospitals are currently managing COVID-19 patients based on their capacity and capabilities, as well as providing manpower to mega vaccination centres and stand-alone centres within hospitals, and they have also started managing decanted patients from government hospitals.
Dr Kuljit noted that 44 private hospitals in the Greater Klang Valley have offered 951 beds for decanting patients from government hospitals and that the procedure is still underway on a daily basis, though the full capacity of decanting has not yet been reached.