Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has urged the government to fast-track ongoing clinical trials on alternative Covid-19 medicines in a bid to give patients cost-effective treatment options and lessen the dependence on expensive imported medicines for the coronavirus.
“If we expedite the availability of alternative local anti-Covid-19 medicines, we will be able to save more lives and we will no longer need to solely depend on imported medicnes,” Marcos said.
Marcos also underscored the country’s rich array of herbal medicinal plants that may treat or potentially cure Covid-19. He also stressed the need to speed up the clinical trials to save more lives.
“We are very rich when it comes to herbal medicinal plants that can possibly treat or even cure Covid-19. Let’s speed up these clinical trials so that we can save more lives,” he added.
He added that while the government is ramping up vaccination efforts, it should not waver in its commitment to find a locally-manufactured cure for Covid19.
According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), there are three ongoing clinical trials on Lagundi, Tawa-tawa, and Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) as treatment or supportive therapy against Covid-19.
Institutions tasked to implement the trials are the Institute of Herbal Medicine, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila for Lagundi, UP Visayas for Tawa-tawa, and UP Manila, and DOST-FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute) for VCO.
The DOST also said over the weekend that UP-PGH is expected to finish its clinical trials on VCO as a treatment for Covid-19 patients by month’s end.
An earlier trial in Sta. Rosa Laguna for VCO showed that patients who were administered with it recovered faster than those who did not receive it.
Marcos also welcomed the government’s move to conduct a clinical trial on the controversial horse deworming drug, Ivermectin. He said if proven effective, we may soon have a viable way to fight Covid19.
“We welcome move to conduct a formal clinical trial on the use Ivermectin to fight Covid19. If this is found to be true, we will have a cheaper alternative drug to fight Covid-19,” Marcos added.