Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The false ivermectin narrative begins. Will Merck, which distributes ivermectin free without a prescription in Africa, ban its use for Covid in the US?

An Austrian independent journalist, writing in German and google-translated, wrote the following article on February 7. I expand on it, below.

"In their fight against the low-cost HCQ - which, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic properties, has also proven effective in the early treatment of high-risk patients - the opponents published a fictional study in the Lancet (the Surgisphere scandal) and conducted studies of toxic overdoses in ICU patients (the “SOLIDARITY” and “RECOVERY” studies [and several others--Nass]). But ivermectin is very difficult to overdose, and unlike HCQ, it works as a prophylaxis against infection and even in ICU patients.

Hence, it would be much more difficult to design a deceptive study against ivermectin.

Dozens of studies and several meta-studies have already established that the inexpensive ivermectin is highly effective against Covid. In January even the US NIH had to change its stance from “negative” to “neutral”. Ivermectin's opponents had to act, but they knew it wasn't going to be easy this time.

Eventually a "solution" was found: the US pharmaceutical company Merck - one of the makers of the patent-free ivermectin - has published a statement in which it simply claims without evidence that its (unpublished) "analysis" has "no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic one Effect against COVID-19 from preclinical studies; no conclusive evidence of clinical activity or clinical effectiveness in patients with COVID-19 disease; and a worrying lack of safety data in the majority of studies. "

An employee of the US National Institutes retweeted the testimony of Merck quickly adding, "Merck's statement on Ivermectin is the leadership and commitment to quality translational science that we need to see from pharmaceutical / biotech." In reality, the assertion by Merck is completely unfounded and also contradicting its own history : after Merck has safely sold ivermectin for several decades, it is now suddenly questioning its safety."

Merck came out with a statement against the use of  ivermectin for Covid on February 4, 2021. Merck's President and CEO is attorney Ken Frazier, who has presided over the company since 2011. He is highly respected for his successful management.

Frazier was the Merck general counsel who decided to fight every Vioxx case, and (it was claimed) this reduced Merck's liability from a potential $50 billion to about $5 billion dollars. Merck was liable for intentionally hiding the fact that Vioxx caused strokes and heart attacks, and had caused perhaps 50,000 excess deaths in users. Frazier soon ascended to the Merck presidency.  In this role, he has been feted for "standing up for what he believes in."

Frazier is black.  His father was a janitor, his grandfather born a slave.  He is said to idolize Roy Vagelos, a physician researcher and former Merck President and Chairman, for offering to provide and distribute ivermectin to the world's poor, for free, for however long it took to rid the world of river blindness (onchocerciasis). And so they have. It must be cheap to make.

Ivermectin was considered a breakthrough drug when it was developed by Merck from a unique streptomyces bacterial product in the 1970s. 

 According to the World Bank

"In 28 countries of the 31 African countries where river blindness is endemic, people no longer go blind from the disease. This victory against river blindness has been possible because of a wonder drug called ivermectin, which now reaches and protects 100 million people across a vast swathe of Africa.... Looking back on 40 years of partnership, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim noted that back in the day when there were scant resources for global health, this decision to donate ivermectin for as long as was needed in Africa was a “game changing intervention” by Merck and all other partners."

According to StatNews, "In his remarks, Frazier would often conjure up this Merck, the valiant drug maker that was in it, in the words of founder George Merck, “for the people, not the profits.

Frazier will be stepping down as CEO in the next few months, but will remain Merck's Chairman. He must have concurred with the decision to suppress ivermectin for Covid.

The Merck advisory that came out on February 4 states:

  • 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.

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 turns out that the benefits of ivermectin for Covid disease prophylaxis were known to some at least as early as April 2020, when there was a brief run on the OTC veterinary form of the drug. 

Thanks to, I learned that a French company with US financial backing named MedinCell had announced last April that Australian researchers had shown that the drug was highly effective in vitro against SARS-CoV-2:

An April 6, 2020 press release by the pharmaceutical company Medincell, which receives a lot of funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation states, “The FDA-approved Drug Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.” 

April 23, 2020: This Release was put out by Bloomberg: MedinCell: Adapt and overcome in response to the Covid-19 crisis

Reading further into the MedinCell release, there is this gem:

MedinCell announced on April 6, 2020, its Covid-19 project launched a few weeks ago. This program aims at developing a long-acting injectable Ivermectin formulation for several months to protect people who are not infected with Covid-19 in order to break the virus chain of transmission. Such a tool could play a decisive role in the management of Covid-19 pandemic, by enabling many people around the world, especially those most exposed and at risk, to protect themselves.”

MedinCell is developing an injectable version of Ivermectin specifically for the treatment/prevention of Covid-19. This delivery system is new for Ivermectin and therefore can be patented, and a cheap pill suddenly becomes a $3,000 a shot.

December 17, 2020: Covid-19: MedinCell presents positive first results from the clinical trial aiming at validating the safety of continuous administration of Ivermectin 

If cheap ivermectin were widely available, it would make little sense to develop an injectable, long-acting form of the drug at a much higher cost. 

This week we heard about two new Covid wonder drugs, from the University of North Carolina and Israel. None of these drugs make sense if a highly effective, unpatentable drug is freely accessible.

But why are we still looking for wonder drugs when we appear to already have one, ivermectin, whose developers won the Nobel prize for it in 2015?  

Is it deja vu all over again? We seem to be repeating the hydroxychloroquine tale.  Knowledge of that drug's benefit was somehow suppressed.  One determined group of intensive care doctors have been trying to get the word out about ivermectin for many months, but have been prevented from accessing the mainstream media.  After they finally got to present their data to a Senate hearing on December 8, clips from the hearing were removed from YouTube.  (Google's YouTube also suppressed information on hydroxychloroquine.)

Merck's Ken Frazier needs to be known not as the good guy who continued his predecessor's program to donate ivermectin to stop river blindness, but as the bad guy who is trying to prevent Americans from purchasing ivermectin to save their lives. Merck is the only US manufacturer. Will Merck stop supplying it, as some manufacturers did with HCQ?

Let me repost the link to a compilation of the evidence on Ivermectin, which includes 38 studies.  Its benefit is incontrovertible.  

Many countries now give ivermectin out for free to their Covid patients. Here is a Nature article from October that, while trying to slam the drug, acknowledges its widespread use in Latin America. Nature is counting on readers' biases about western exceptionalism to blind them to the fact that developing countries wouldn't be wasting their money if it didn't work.  Nor would their mortality rates be a fraction of ours. Shame on Nature for hiding the obvious. What is truly exceptional right now are the UK and US mortality rates, sadly.

And the kicker:  Merck purchased the rights to an experimental drug for Covid, and has already contracted to sell at least 60,000 doses to the federal government, for at least $3,000 per dose.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shoutout to The Newsteader!