Advertising, selling Ivermectin outside Covid-19 clinical trials banned, as Malaysia records over 20k new cases

The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) prohibits the importation, advertising and selling of Ivermectin as a product to treat Covid-19, saying it is to be strictly used only in clinical trials.

This comes as the debate over the use of the drug continued, despite world health authorities issuing clear guidelines that Ivermectin must only be used under strict supervision.

Calls for the use of the drug heightened in recent weeks due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia. The country recorded 20,596 cases today – the highest ever since the pandemic started last year.

Certain quarters had also promoted and sold the drug online, and via instant messaging services.

NPRA, in a statement yesterday, referred to the May 16 statement issued by the Health director-general who had then clarified on the use of Ivermectin.

NPRA director Dr Roshayati Mohamad Sani said the Health director-general’s statement stated there was no clinical data to prove Ivermectin’s efficacy against Covid-19, and that members of the public were advised against taking the drug to treat and prevent coronavirus.

“With the rising Covid-19 cases in the country, Ivermectine was used as off-label by the Health Ministry only for clinical trials,” said Dr Roshayati.

“As such, all licensed pharmacists must ensure that the importation or sale of Ivermectin raw materials, for the manufacturing or compounding for Covid-19 treatment, is only for clinical trials.

“The importation and manufacturing, including compounding and sale of Ivermectin raw materials, or products containing Ivermectin for other purposes, should stop immediately.

“Any form of advertisement for poisonous products, including Ivermectin, is banned because it is against the policy of the Medicine Advertisements Board, hence, advertisements on such products should not be published on any media platform,” she added.

In March, the World Health Organisation recommended that Ivermectin be only used within clinical trials.

The United States Food and Drug Administration had, in its ‘Covid-19 and Ivermectin intended for animals’ FAQ sheet, said the drug had not been approved for the prevention, or treatment, of Covid-19.

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.

UMNO’S IDRIS JUSOH TURNS BACK ON PARTY, STANDS BY MUHYIDDIN

Another Umno leader has come out to align himself with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin – despite the party’s decision on Tuesday to withdraw support for the prime minister and his Perikatan Nasional government.

Besut MP Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, in a statement, said Umno cannot deny Muhyiddin’s contributions, which included appointing party leaders as the deputy prime minister and senior minister.

He said Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi always changes his decisions, adding that he did not see any game plan from Ahmad Zahid in dealing with the pandemic.

Yesterday, Umno’s Maran MP Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib, defied party orders by standing by Muhyiddin. Ismail is also the deputy housing and local government minister.

Ahmad Zahid, meanwhile, was quoted by Utusan Malaysia as saying that Umno leaders who were still in the Cabinet must quit if they were still loyal to the party. Since Tuesday, only one Umno leader – Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah – had quit the government. He was the energy and natural resources minister.

PEJA NAMED SPECIAL ADVISOR TO PM

Bersatu’s deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has been appointed special advisor to the Prime Minister with ministerial status.

The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement, said the Tambun MP would be responsible in advising the prime minister on matters related to community engagement and socio-economic development.

‘NO FURTHER ACTION’ AGAINST TEACHER WHO ALLEGEDLY MADE RAPE JOKE IN FRONT OF STUDENTS

Police received a ‘No Further Action’ notice from the deputy public prosecutor after completing investigations into a teacher who had allegedly made a rape joke in front of his students.

On April 24, the physical education teacher was accused of making the remark. One of his students, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, 17, posted about the incident online. It caught the attention of many, including the Education Ministry, and lawmakers.

Yesterday, the teacher filed a RM1 million lawsuit against Ain Husniza for alleged defamation.

SYED SADDIQ CLAIMS TRIAL TO TWO COUNTS OF MONEY LAUNDERING

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman pleaded not guilty at the Johor Bahru Sessions Court this morning to two counts of money laundering amounting to RM100,000 three years ago.

The 29-year-old was alleged to have been involved in money laundering, in which two transactions of RM50,000 each, were transferred from his Maybank account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account.

The offences were allegedly committed at a bank in Taman Perling on June 16, and June 19, 2018. He was the youth and sports minister at the time.

The court allowed the case to be transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court and fixed Sept 10 for mention.

BODY OF BABY GIRL FOUND IN DRAIN

The body of a baby girl, with the umbilical cord still intact, was found in a drain near a durian orchard in Pondok Upeh, Balik Pulau, in Penang yesterday afternoon.

It was the second such incident reported yesterday.

Penang police said a Balik Pulau Hospital doctor lodged a police report after treating an Indonesian woman who was bleeding after she was believed to have given birth.

The doctor, who treated the 35-year-old woman, found a placenta in her womb. She refused to tell the doctor of the baby’s whereabouts. The woman later told police that she delivered the baby girl on Tuesday and claimed the baby was stillborn. As she went out to bury the baby, the body slipped from her hands and fell into the drain near her home.

In Sabah, the body of a newborn baby boy was found in a plastic bag at a staircase of a building in Bundusan, Penampang. Members of the public found the body yesterday at 1.10pm. The body was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Kota Kinabalu, for a post-mortem.