An actor used the name of a political party in a hashtag in promoting ivermectin as a potential drug that could treat COVID-19 to his fans online.
In a tweet on April 2, Enzo Pineda praised his father Rep. Eric Pineda (1-PACMAN party-list) for his efforts in getting the anti-parasitic drug approved for COVID-19 use despite health advisories against it.
Enzo used hashtags #1PACMAN and #Ivermectin in his post.
He admitted to using ivermictin as well. “Proud of my dad for spearheading the approval of Ivermectin as an affordable drug to fight COVID-19,” the actor said.
“I have friends who recently recovered from the virus who can testify that the drug works and I’m also using it now as a preventive medicine,” he added.
— Enzo Pineda (@Enzo_Pineda) April 2, 2021
As of writing, ivermectin medicines are not authorized for use against COVID-19. The World Health Organization says there is no significant evidence it can treat coronavirus caes.
Without citing contrary data and the medication’s caveats, the Kapamilya actor, however, continued to promote the medicine and called on other Filipinos to be more “open-minded” in considering such medicinal options against COVID-19.
“Yes, we are still treading the waters because the virus is constantly evolving. Pero sana po buksan natin ang ating isipan for different alternatives because people are dying not just because of the virus but also from hunger and anxiety,” Enzo said.
“The drug only costs P35 each which you will drink for a few days. Kaysa naman po magbayad ng thousands of pesos sa hospital,” he added.
Enzo also urged doctors and scientists to review ivermectin’s effectivity against COVID-19 despite opposition from various group of health workers.
“I’m not a scientist or a doctor to prove it…Kaya I urge our brilliant doctors and scientists to have a closer look to why it’s working. Stay safe everyone and have a blessed Holy Week (prayer emoji),” he said.
A dermatologist, familiar with the anti-parasitic usees of ivermectin, also called Enzo out.
“Bakit may 1Pacman? Campaigning for Manny? Wag dumagdag sa gulo. Hindi po proven ang Ivermectin,” said Mojica said. The party-list is not led by Manny Pacquiao but by businessman Mikee Romero.
Some users, meanwhile, called the attention of the two organizations where Enzo serves as ambassadors of—World Vision and World Wildlife Fund.
Discussing ivermectin’s efficacy vs COVID-19
During the House inquiry last week, Rep. Eric, the actor’s father and Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan party-list) backed the proposal for use of ivermectin in treating or preventing COVID-19.
Defensor, also a COVID-19 survivor, claimed to have felt better after using it.
Moreover, the Pineda patriarch also filed a House resolution that asked the country’s Food and Drug Administration to explain its rejection of ivermectin for COVID-19.
The Department of Health and the country’s FDA, however, concur with the World Health Organization and the US-FDA to not recommend the drug in treating patients infected by the deadly pathogen, citing lack of scientific basis.
In a statement last February 4, Merck, the pharmaceutical company behind ivermectin, also echoed the health organizations’ views based on the analysis of its in-house scientists.
“No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies. No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease and a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies,” Merck said.
“We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information,” it added.