AfriForum, doctors back in court on Monday to fight for use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19

29 March 2021 - 07:00 By iavan pijoos
The court order 'is an important first step in our effort to ensure access to ivermectin', says AfriForum's head of research Barend Uys.
The court order 'is an important first step in our effort to ensure access to ivermectin', says AfriForum's head of research Barend Uys.
Image: 123RF/LEIGH ANNEF

A court case brought by a group of doctors and lobby group AfriForum involving the right of doctors and pharmacists to use ivermectin to treat Covid-19 patients is expected to be heard on Monday.

“This court application is a continuation of the fight for access to ivermectin,” AfriForum said ahead of the hearing.

AfriForum and Dr George Coetzee, among others, filed papers in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier this year against health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to have ivermectin approved for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

In February, the High Court ordered that doctors should be allowed to start ivermectin treatment, concurrently with the submission of an application to the regulatory authority to have the use of the drug approved.

That order meant doctors could start ivermectin treatment when he or she deemed urgent access to ivermectin as crucial for a patient.

In terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, an article 21 application has to be submitted to Sahpra by medical practitioners who want to prescribe medicine which is not registered for human use within the country.

At the time, AfriForum said the court order was a breakthrough because doctors would not have to wait for approval of an article 21 application before starting treatment.

The second part of the original application, which involves the right of doctors and pharmacists to compound medicine (the process of combining, mixing or altering ingredients to create medication), according to article 14(4) of the act, will be heard on Monday.

TimesLIVE


subscribe