Health Care Specialist, Dr. Gilbertha St Rose has requested that Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, apologise or resign over remarks about the drug, Ivermectin and its use in the treatment of COVID-19.
“I request an apology by the CMO or offer her resignation to the people of Saint Lucia on three counts,” St Rose said in a statement issued to St Lucia Times.
The Managing Director of Eden Herbs accused Belmar-George of making a false statement that only 26 clinical trials have been carried out on Ivermectin.
However, St Rose says 56 clinical trials have been done.
And she asserted that all the trials have shown benefits for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
St Rose has also challenged the notion that Ivermectin makes people sick.
She declared that miraculous healings have been documented from Ivermectin treatment.
“Side effects from use of Ivermectin at recommended doses are nil or minimal,” St Rose explained.
Nevertheless, the CMO has made it clear that she will not allow Saint Lucians to undergo clinical trials with the drug.
“I will not expose Saint Lucians to the clinical trial of a drug that has not shown to be effective in treating or preventing COVID-19,” she said recently on national television.
But St Rose has taken issued with Belmar-George’s position.
“She will not allow our people to undergo clinical trial with age old drug Ivermectin, while not insisting on required protocols with this new biological agent called a vaccine now under stage 3 clinical trial,” St Rose observed.
“Our CMO ought to know that the authority to accept an application for a clinical trial and process for approval lies with the Research and Ethics Committee of the Medical and Dental Council of Saint Lucia, the body that she should have applied to to undertake this stage 3 clinical trial with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” she noted.
The CMO has said that Ivermectin is approved for the treatment of parasites and is used in veterinary medicine.
According to Belmar-George, the last 28 clinical trials that have been done have shown that there has not been an improvement for the prevention or treatment even in minor cases of COVID-19.
In this regard, she recalled that the FDA issued a statement making it clear that Ivermectin is not to be used for management, treatment or prevention of the virus.
And Belmar-George explained that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have also pronounced on the use of the drug, with CARPHA advising its member states that the drug is only to be used in clinical trials and not for treatment of COVID-19.
“CARPHA does not support the use of ivermectin outside of appropriately designed, well-regulated clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19,” a statement from the agency this week said.
However, Dr. Gilbertha St Rose cited several reasons why she said Ivermectin is under attack.
“The emergency use authorisation that the vaccine has, when it shows that Ivermectin works, that will be nullified – this is one reason,” she explained.
“Ivermectin is competition,” she asserted.
Headline photo caption: (L to R) Dr. Gilbertha St Rose & Dr. Sharon Belmar-George (Stock images)