A group of 50 doctors will challenge the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) in court over its continued restrictive use of Ivermectin as a prophylactic and treatment for COVID-19. Apart from treating their patients, they say they want to use it themselves for protection against the virus, but they still cannot legally access it, reports Sunday Times Daily.
While SAHPRA has said it will authorise the use of the drug on compassionate grounds in terms of its existing Section 21 process (authorising the use of an unregistered drug), the doctors, who belong to a group called 'I Can Make A Difference', say this is not good enough.
There have been two other applications concerning the use of the drug, registered for veterinary use only in South Africa. One, launched by a doctor, two of his patients and AfriFforum, was settled in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) last week after SAHPRA assured that doctors could prescribe the medicine pending section 21 approval.
Another, brought by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Doctors for Life, also settled on similar terms.
The ‘I Can Make A Difference’ doctors attempted to intervene in the ACDP application. Their attorney Kuben Moodley said SAHPRA had opposed the joinder application “on technical issues, not the merits”. It had then been decided to launch a separate application.
In her affidavit in the joinder application, Dr Naseeba Kathrada, who practises in Westville, KZN, says many of the group wish to lawfully take Ivermectin themselves as a prophylactic, and want to access it from a reputable and recognised supplier.
Full Sunday Times Daily report (Restricted access)
See also MedicalBrief archives:High Court settlement allows doctors immediate use of Ivermectin
SAHPRA: Guidelines on accessing Ivermectin Compassionate Use Programme