The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
Article first published 12 May 2021
By Andrew Bannister*
What if there was a cheap drug, so old its patent had expired, so safe that it’s on the WHO’s lists of Essential and Children’s Medicines, and used in mass drug administration rollouts? What if it can be taken at home with the first signs COVID symptoms, given to those in close contact, and significantly reduce COVID disease progression and cases, and far fewer few people would need hospitalisation?
The international vaccine rollout under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) would legally have to be halted. For an EUA to be legal, “there must be no adequate, approved and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing or treating the disease or condition.” The vaccines would only become legal once they passed level 4 trials and that certainly won’t happen in 2021.
This would present a major headache for the big public health agencies led by the WHO. The vaccine rollout, outside of trials, would become illegal. The vaccine manufactures, having spent hundreds of million dollars developing and testing vaccines during a pandemic, would not see the $100bn they were expecting in 2021. In a pandemic, and for the next one, we need big pharma to react quickly, and the best way to that, is to reward them financially. Allowing any existing drug, at this time, well into stage 3 trials, to challenge the legality of the EUA of vaccines, is not going to happen easily. On the 31st of March 2021, the WHO recommended against the use of Ivermectin for COVID treatment, citing safety and lack of large RCT proof.
The question of why the WHO would do this is difficult to answer, only if you ignore the importance of the legality of the EUA, and the time tested advice, of following the money. The WHO, a once noble organisation funded by the worlds countries, now receives less than 20% of its budget from member states. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the second biggest sponsor after the USA. The GAVI Alliance, a private/public organisation promoting vaccines, was founded by Gates, and now pushing for vaccine passports, are the 4th biggest sponsor to WHO. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, served on the GAVI board for several years. The WHO, in 2021 changed the definition of “herd immunity”, to occurring only when the global population has been vaccinated.
The WHO has either made serious mistakes in their analysis or deliberately undermined Ivermectin and other early treatment drugs, in favour of vaccinating the world. Obviously this is a huge windfall for vaccine manufacturers, with Pfizer set to receive over a trillion rand from vaccines over the next five years according to Morgan Stanley.
In January this year, the several months long, Ivermectin research, meta-analysis of Randomised Control Trials (RCT), commissioned by WHO was released. The paper showed that Ivermectin reduces death by 74% and is 85% effective as prophylaxis. The trial leader, Dr Andrew Hill, was on Zoom meetings saying that governments should secure their source before demand outstrips supply and that it would be immoral, not to roll it out. The same month, two other independent, unsponsored meta-analysis confirmed a similar range of effectiveness at various stages of the disease. While effective at all stages of the disease, Ivermectin is most effective as a prophylaxis and about 80% in early treatment, depending on dose used.
The WHO currently have no advice or recommendation’s for early treatment apart from recommending against self-medication. If you don’t heal in the first week, when symptoms are generally mild, by the time you have to go to the hospital with breathing problems, your chances of dying have increased significantly. The use of Ivermectin and other repurposed drugs, could prevent that. As its safer than paracetamol, it should be available over the counter. As is happening in Mexico City and some states in India, anyone testing positive or feeling sick should take it, and give it to those they are in close contact with. It may be possible, if you want to attend a large social event or travel in a plane, that you take a pill, four hours before, and you will have significant protection for a few days. Lockdowns could end.
Ivermectin has been used in humans for 35 years and over 4 billion doses have been administered. Merck, the original patent holder, donated 3.7 billion doses to developing countries. 2015 the two individuals who developed Ivermectin were awarded a Nobel Prize for medicine. While known primarily as an anti-parasitic, Ivermectin has powerful anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Its safety is documented at doses twenty times the normal. Only 19 deaths are known and side-affects are generally mild and short. As a comparison, approximately 450 US citizens die from paracetamol every year.
Merck’s patent on Ivermectin expired in 1996 and they produce less than 5% of global supply. In 2020 they were asked to assist in Nigerian and Japanese trials but declined both. In 2021 Merck released a statement claiming that Ivermectin was not an effective treatment against Covid-19 and bizarrely claimed, “A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies” of the a drug they donated to be distributed in mass rollouts, by primary care workers, in mass campaigns, to millions in developing countries. The media reported the Merck statement as a blinding truth without looking at the conflict of interests when days later, Merck received $356m from the US government to develop an investigational therapeutic. The WHO even quoted Merck, as evidence, that it didn’t work, in their recommendation against the use of Ivermectin. It’s a dangerous world when corporate marketing determines public health policy. Global vaccine rollout, to everyone, is the policy.
The vaccine rollout is worth about $100bn in 2021, and there may well be annual updates to deal with new variants of COVID. The WHO answers to nobody but its’ funders. Less than 20% of its budget comes member states, the bulk coming from other sources. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the second largest sponsor of the organisation. GAVI, a vaccine alliance, founded by Gates and WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus, served on its board prior to his current position, is the fifth largest contributor.
In March 2021, WHO said that Ivermectin was not recommend for the treatment of COVID outside of trials. They did this by ignoring their own months long, in-depth investigation by Dr Andrew Hill, that found Ivermectin was associated with 74% reduction in fatalities, and replaced it with a hastily done analysis that cherry picked from five, seven or sixteen trials (the report contradicts itself) but only cite 5 trails. The figures ,the WHO report supplies, show a reduction of death by 81%, but with a “very low certainty of evidence”. The WHO report didn’t even mention prophylaxis, where Ivermectin’s most effective, saying that fell outside its mandate. The WHO will not approve Ivermectin’s use, without it first proving itself in a large RCT. These trials cost millions and nobody, except those with a financial interest in vaccines, have offered to fund. The WHO are best placed to run large RCT’s on existing drugs, but haven’t done so with Ivermectin, despite it being over a year, since Ivermectin was proved to kill COVID in a lab. As only big pharma can afford the large RCT, the only drugs that go through the large RCT’s, are the new ones developed by big pharma, and become the only ones approved by WHO.
Almost every media house around the world has contributed to the marginalisation of Ivermectin. No mainstream journalists have investigated the evidence or questioned and debated scientists supporting it. It’s called an “animal drug” and dangerous. Ivermectin is seen as a repeat of hydroxychloroquine and not to be taken seriously. Belief in it, worthy only of derision.
On 10 December 2020, at the World Press Freedom Conference, an extension to the Trusted News Initiative (TNI) was announced. Founded to prevent false information around elections, the TNI, whose members are leading media houses: AP, AFP, BBC, CBC, European broadcast Union, Facebook, Financial Times, First Draft, Google, YouTube, The Hindu, Microsoft, Reuters, Twitter and Washington Post, were now extending that to vaccines. In a surprisingly underreported event, many of the world’s biggest media, agreed to promote the global vaccine rollout and focus on combatting the spread of harmful vaccine disinformation. While noble and well-intended, this has unfortunately led to a media silence on promising, early treatments that could significantly drop hospitalisations.
The March this year, New York Times broke a story, repeated around the world, reporting a trial that proved “Ivermectin had no effect”. The Lopez-Medina trial, published in JAMA, a leading medical journal, was held as the gold standard for Ivermectin RCT’s. In the trial, reminiscent of a “big tobacco” hit-job, vaccine manufactures paid the researchers (documented in the papers Conflicts Of Interests section). There are many faults in the trial. Among them, they accidentally gave Ivermectin to both arms of the trial and changed the trials primary outcome, mid-trial, three times. Normally, nobody would pay a trial any attention after these significant problems. As the trial was on a young heathy population, in an area with high Ivermectin use, freely available from the mayor during their first COVID wave, you were allowed on the trial if you hadn’t taken Ivermectin for 5 days, despite it’s effects being noticeable up to a month after a single dose. Surprisingly less than 3% of the participants had disease progression, against an expectation of 18%. The rare but specific Ivermectin side effect, blurred vision, was within 0,3% (11.3/11.6%) of both groups as were other side effects. The results were collected telephonically and no physical examination was done. From their result, with surprisingly few people having disease progression (some suggest that the trial inadvertently proves Ivermectin’s efficiency), it’s not possible to arrive at the conclusion that Ivermectin doesn’t work, which is what they did, and the media bought it.
Unless you know where to look, you will find hardly any positive information on Ivermectin. Social media makes it very difficult to say anything positive about it without the poster getting blocked from the platforms for lengthy periods. YouTube has made the promotion of Ivermectin, a violation of its policies. There is no public conversation in the media about it. It’s just ignored. Respectable medical journals are sitting with piles of Ivermectin papers on their desks that they refuse to publish without providing reason, despite at least one of them having passed peer review by two FDA reviewers. The book “Manufacturing of Consent” comes to mind where Chomsky and Herman look at how mass media serves the rich. It’s a David against Goliath fight, a cheap generic vs Big Pharma.
There are now 27 RCT’s, about 7 meta -analysis and many observational trials, that show Ivermectin works. There is very little evidence that it doesn’t work. The WHO were very sparse in detail and process, in their recommendation against its use. New research from the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), on a group of over 3500 health care workers, using two doses of Ivermectin as prophylactic, reduced cases among health care workers by 83% in the following month. Mexico City has for several months been using a test and treat with Ivermectin strategy. A research paper by Mexico City Health, claims that, depending on dosing, they have reduced hospitalisations by 56-73%. India in its current destructive wave, has just taken the example set by its two most successful states, and authorised the use of Ivermectin in early treatment. Doctors who use it, swear by it. As for more proof, the Gates/Together trial is ongoing, but given Gates’s large investments in vaccines, its results, already mistrusted. In Goa they have just authorised giving Ivermectin to everyone who tests, not waiting for a result. If Ivermectin works, it should soon be clearly seen unless the “Ivermectin is dangerous” group wins. We need more studies, especially on higher dosing, but we know it’s safe, so no need to wait.
Ultimately what this means, is that if Ivermectin and other repurposed drugs (like the promising anti-depressant Fluvoxamine), work for early treatment, you won’t have to use a vaccine, that’s still in trial, with unknown long-term safety or ability to treat future variants, and for which, the manufactures accept no liability.
In case you get sick, keep Ivermectin close by for early, household treatment, and you will prevent viral replication early and almost certainly, avoid hospital. You would have also built an immune response that will provide natural protection against future infections. Its wide-spread use, should dampen waves of disease, while vaccines can use this time to prove themselves, with long term safety and efficiency.
- Andrew Bannister says “I can provide proof for everything I have written” and was last published 30 years ago in the medical journal Lancet.
- The lawyer who won the Ivermectin battle for South Africans
- Ivermectin proponents are fighting for the rights of all South Africans
- There’s still insufficient data for us to authorise Ivermectin – SAHPRA CEO
Comment from Andrew Donaldson:
“Don’t mention Ivermectin, it’ll upset the vaccine rollout”???
What are you trying to suggest – that we should be promoting Ivermectin instead of encouraging vaccine rollout?
You have again published a story that promotes an absurd conspiracy theory. Your correspondent thinks that “big pharma” and Bill Gates and the world’s pharmaceutical regulators are engaged in some grand manipulation of evidence and ideas to block a miracle drug. Surely you can see that this is absurd? Those of us who actually do science, who spend our days in laboratories and examining data, who write academic papers and advise regulators, are not in the pay of corporate sociopaths! We sift through the evidence and reach the best honest conclusions we can. Sadly, some research projects are undertaken, some papers are written, based on weak underlying methods or poor analysis, and so it is not difficult to find purported evidence for just about anything. Whole books have been written proving the existence of UFOs. “Doctors report that it actually works!.” Yes, and I can show you “evidence” that taking coffee in the morning “works”! But science requires more than this, and so until a reputable journal and a research institution of standing give the nod to Ivermectin, it has to be regarded as unproven. And an advocate who adds layers of conspiratorial flotsam to his scattering of suggestive “evidence” should be shown the door. That is what good journalism means.
You state: ‘Andrew says “I can provide proof for everything I have written” and was last published 30 years ago in the medical journal Journal Lancet.’ I don’t fully understand the grammar of this claim, but I guess it is meant to indicate that your correspondent doesn’t lie. So let me point to just one obvious “misrepresentation”. Your article states that the WHO now receives less than 20% of its funds from member states.” The implication is that the WHO is no longer “noble” – it now is beholden to the dark side of the moon. But the statement is false. The WHO receives less than 20% of its funding in member states’ assessed contributions, but it also receives most of its voluntary contributions from its member states. It also receives voluntary funding from philanthropic foundations, research organisations, UN bodies and the private sector. Much of this funding is tied to particular programmes or purposes. If you or your correspondent have evidence that any of these partnerships are damaging to the public interest, or serve private interests in dishonest ways, then by all means publish that evidence. But why would you want to create a tainted impression of the WHO, without any such actual evidence?
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