Source: Trial Site News

TrialSite reported that the nation of Zimbabwe eased regulations involving ivermectin so as to allow for research, as well as research as a care option. 

Back on January 29, 2021, TrialSite reported that the  Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) did an abrupt turnaround from a harsher stance against the drug. The ministry would be allowed, and according to MCAZ spokesperson Richard Rukwata TrialSite indicated, that the nation’s research authority embraced a pragmatic and proactive approach to offer research as a care option targeting COVID-19 in a quest to protect human life.

Jackie Stone, a heavily credentialed physician with the Optimum Health Center here in Harare, recently shared in a video presentation that there has been a dramatic turnaround here. While COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in January (at 921 cases per day in one week), they have waned to only now a seven-day average of 41 cases per day. The death rate in January peaked at 70 deaths per day and a month later, accompanied by a substantial ivermectin administration program, deaths fell to zero according to the doctor. 

Retailers report a “35-fold increase” in turnover associated with the anti-parasitic drug. Distributors report 1,057 bottles were sold in January 2020 while January 2021 that figure jumped to 8,500. From December through February, 500,000 doses of ivermectin were administered.

This latest report, published on Medical Update Online, comes from Dr. Stone. TrialSite did check in with one of the spokespersons affiliated with MCAZ, Richard Rukwata, who suggested we communicate with local providers. This country of 14.3 million people was spared for much of the pandemic then hit with its first major spike in January. While there is no randomized controlled trial proving that ivermectin is correlated with dramatically lower cases and deaths, real-world evidence certainly exists to indicate that the drug has had a positive influence.

No Lightweight

Dr. Stone’s reputation carries weight. Although she found herself in some hot water in the nation for administering the drug prior to the change in MCAZ stance, Dr. Stone practices with top credentials, holding degrees in medicine and medical biochemistry from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has worked in London, Dubai, and Australia and also holds a Diploma in Aviation Medicine.

The Interview

In a recent interview, Dr. Stone recently shared that while the death rate climbed much higher in January, again peaking at 70 deaths on the 25th of that month, Official authorization for the use of ivermectin was granted a day later.

A month later, the number of deaths fell to zero. Again, the correlation here along with Dr. Stone’s direct clinic experience is ivermectin sales. Over 500,000 doses of the generic, FDA-approved drug were administered from December through February. This compares to 1,057 bottles turned over in January 2020.

Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ)

MCAZ initially took a rigid stance with ivermectin but then as the conditions became worse on the ground in January, the regulatory agency made an abrupt turnaround, opening up to the use of ivermectin for research and what appears to be the research as a care option—or a sort of compassionate use program. TrialSite has interfaced with representatives on the board

MCAZ, a statutory body, was established by an act of Parliament and is the successor of other acts that go back to 1969.

Lead Physician Contact

Jackie Stone, BSc Med Hons, MBChB, MRCP, FRACGP, D Av Med, FACAsM, Primary Care Physician

Dr. Jackie Stone holds degrees in medicine and medical biochemistry from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has worked in London, Dubai, and Australia and holds a Diploma in Aviation Medicine. She now works in family practice in Zimbabwe.

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