The Health and Wellness Ministry, says it needs more information on the drug Ivermectine, before recommending wholesale use to treat symptoms of COVID-19. 

The Medical Association of Jamaica, MAJ, last week, called on the government to incorporate the drug in the treatment of the virus. 

MAJ President Dr. Andrew Manning said at this point any scientifically sound and safe measure is a good recommendation for use to reduce the spread of the virus.

Dr. Andrew Manning, speaking with Nationwide News last week. 

In a statement yesterday, the Health Ministry says it’s spent considerable time reviewing the information on Ivermectine.

And it says it has concluded that there is not enough information to recommend, for or against, the drug for use in COVID-19 treatment.

According to the Ministry, Ivermectine has been reviewed extensively by recognized bodies such as the National Institute of Health in the United States and the USA Food and Drug Administration, FDA.

It says they have concluded there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against. 

The Ministry says the  use of unproven drugs can lead to a waste of resources, harmful effects and can also reduce availability of the drug for its recommended use.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie says Ivermectine when used as labelled, as an anti-parasitic, has been found to be safe. 

She says some doctors and their patients are using the medication for treatment of COVID-19 based on the available information. 

But Dr. Bisasor McKenzie says this is ideally done in the framework of a clinical study. 

She says in these situations, there should be discussion and agreement between patient and doctor and appropriate documentation and follow up.