A social media video claims that Australia’s medical regulator has done an about-face on the drug ivermectin by overturning a ban on its use for treating COVID-19.
“Now legacy media, who’ve been suppressing the use of ivermectin and pushing that narrative for two years, are now coming out and claiming it as a miracle. … the government now is promoting this as a miracle cure and the TGA are releasing it after banning it when so many people who are tallied in the death toll of COVID could have been saved by it,” he says (video mark 6 min 30 sec).
AAP FactCheck has previously debunked COVID misinformation by Mr Hood.
A Department of Health spokesperson told AAP FactCheck the claims in the video are false, and nothing has changed regarding the government’s advice on ivermectin.
“Ivermectin does not have regulatory approval in Australia, or any other comparable OECD country, for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19,” the spokesperson said in an email.
The department said the TGA had only approved the prescription of oral ivermectin for the treatment of “river blindness, threadworm of the intestines and scabies“.
Medical experts told AAP FactCheck there is no truth in the video’s claim about ivermectin’s use in relation to COVID.
“The approved indications for use of Stromectol (Ivermectin 3mg) are still limited to parasitic conditions,” Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, said an email.
“The available evidence does not demonstrate any benefit from using ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19,” she told AAP FactCheck via email.
The taskforce issued a fact sheet in November last year, making a “strong recommendation against the use of ivermectin” outside clinical trials, and warning of common side effects including diarrhoea, nausea and dizziness.
Government recommendations have consistently said there’s no evidence the drug is effective against COVID.
The Department of Health website says: “There is not enough evidence to support the safe and effective use” of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID.
“There is a small minority of clinicians who still advocate for use with COVID, those who don’t understand how evidence is considered that underpins clinical guidelines,” Prof Bennett said.
“Importantly, the highly favourable findings reported in some small trial results haven’t been replicated in large trials … And of course, some of the larger trials there were have been withdrawn from publication with signs of fraudulence.”
A randomised clinical trial in Malaysia, published by the Journal of American Medicine in February, found that a course of ivermectin treatment for high-risk patients with COVID during early illness “did not prevent progression to severe disease”.
A recent erroneous report on the Nine Network’s A Current Affair claimed an Australian doctor recommended Queen Elizabeth II’s COVID case be treated with ivermectin, sparking conspiracy theories, which AAP FactCheck debunked.
Australia’s medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, has not overturned a ban on ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. The Department of Health confirmed to AAP FactCheck that the advice on the antiparasitic drug in relation to COVID was unchanged.
False – The claim is inaccurate.