More and more courier packages containing Ivermectin pills smuggled from abroad were seized at the entrance of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
Sources said most of the packages containing Ivermectin pills were confiscated after being brought in without a valid permit and their authenticity was doubtful.
According to him, the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) takes seriously the uncontrolled sale of Ivermectin pills which are claimed to be able to cure Covid-19 infection quickly.
“As a result, the MOH is concerned about the misuse and side effects of the pill by tightening the import control of Ivermectin pills at the entrances nationwide.
“Currently, the MOH is taking firm action by ensuring that this product does not pass through the main entrance to the country following a misunderstanding regarding the use of Ivermectin as a treatment and prevention of Covid-19.
“The permitted imports of Ivermectin finished products are those that comply with the provisions of the act enforced in accordance with the Poisons Act 1952, and the regulations as well as the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 and the Drugs and Cosmetics Control Regulations 1984.
“Through official instructions issued by the MOH, the importation of Ivermectin raw materials for human treatment is not allowed and should be detained in accordance with the MOH’s policy which allows only for clinical testing purposes,” he said.
According to him, the low cost and multiplied profits are believed to have attracted the attention of the syndicate to bring in Ivermectin pills on a large scale before being sold to the local market.
It is revealed the spread of information on social media claiming that Ivermectin pills are able to fight covid-19 virus infection, which is the cause of entry and smuggling of the pills from abroad.
While the matter is still at the clinical study stage, many are trying to buy and get these worm killer pills that basically work in the digestive tract and are not absorbed by the body.
As a result, Ivermectin pills cost around 50 sen each (before the Covid-19 pandemic) but are sold at a price of up to RM5 each.
Meanwhile, the President of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Association (MPS) Amrahi Buang asked the public to wait until the effectiveness of Ivermectin in treating Covid-19 was proven in MOH clinical trials.
According to him, the people should not rush to use the drug even though there are ‘talks’ stating that it is effective in treating Covid-19.
According to him, the use of any drug should be based on clinical test data so as not to cause adverse effects on health.
“If clinical trials are not conducted and Ivermectin is widely used, surely the MOH will be blamed for failing to control the use of the drug.
He said the country had structured procedures and approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) was necessary to ensure the safety of Ivermectin use.
“Not because of bigotry, some parties took the opportunity to sell the medicine at an unreasonable price because the high demand was received,” he said.
The MOH has previously reportedly not ruled out the possibility of approving the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 patients, if there is strong evidence explaining its effectiveness and side effects.
Director -General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, currently only allows the use of Ivermectin off label (drugs outside the indications stated on the label and not yet or outside the consent of the responsible body or board) until a comprehensive study is conducted.
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug identified from the 70s with antiviral effects for killing worms in the body.