MOH TO HOLD CLINICAL STUDY ON IVERMECTIN USE FOR COVID-19 CLOSE CONTACTS
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 7 — The Health Ministry (MOH) and the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) are planning to initiate a clinical study as early as the next month to determine Ivermectin’s effectiveness as a prophylaxis for close contacts of COVID-19 patients.
ICR director Dr Kalairasu M.Periasamy said the study, entitled “Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Ivermectin For Post Exposure Prophylaxis For COVID-19 Infection Among Close Contacts (I-CPEP)” will target 300 participants, aged 18 and above, selected from close contacts of COVID-19 patients from 10 health facilities in several districts in Kedah, Perak, Penang and Perlis.
“Participants will be asked to take two Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) swab tests, once before the study is carried out and again on the eighth day of the study.
“The individuals will be monitored during their quarantines in accordance with the ministry’s guidelines. They will also be given Ivermectin on the first and second day of the quarantine period,” he said during a virtual media engagement session regarding the Ivermectin Treatment Efficacy in Covid-19 High-Risk Patients (i-Tech) study today.
i-Tech study chief researcher infectious diseases specialist Dr Steven Lim Chee Loon was also present for the session, which was moderated by Health Deputy Director-General (Research and Technical Support) Datuk Dr. Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim.
Dr. Kalairasu said, however, that they were still waiting for approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) to proceed with the clinical study.
“The clinical study will end after we have received the 300 samples needed,” he said.
The results of the ministry’s i-Tech study, which tested the efficacy of Ivermectin on 500 COVID-19 high-risk patients, concluded that Ivermectin treatment would not be recommended for inclusion in existing COVID-19 treatment guidelines as it did not reduce the risk of severe infection.