SAHPRA officials raid Durban private hospital for anti-parasite drug, Ivermectin

SAHPRA officials raid Durban private hospital for anti-parasite drug, Ivermectin

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority has confirmed it will be opening a criminal case, after it allegedly found evidence that anti-parasite drug Ivermectin had been prescribed and dispensed at a private Durban hospital. 


Police and SAHPRA officials raided Ahmed Al-Kadi yesterday after the authority received a tip-off. Ivermectin, which is given to animals for parasites, isn't approved by the regulatory body for treatment in humans, here.  

The medication grabbed headlines recently as a so-called "miracle cure" for COVID-19. SAHPRA's Yugen Gounden says they didn't find any Ivermectin at the hospital but proof that it was there. 

"We acted on the information that we received, that ivermectin was been prescribed and dispensed at this hospital. We questioned the responsible pharmacist as well as the hospital manager and both confirmed that somebody had dropped a parcel with this drug, apparently a doctor. And they dispensed it," says Gounden. 

"For SAHPRA this is irresponsible and it runs contrary to professional practice, especially for a responsible pharmacist as well as a medical professional. So SAHPRA has decided to pursue a criminal case." 

In a statement yesterday, the hospital's manager, Ebrahim Asmal confirmed that officials visited the facility and Ivermectin was not found on site. Asmal says the matter has been referred to their attorneys.

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The news came after police arrested a 43-year-old man at Durban's King Shaka International Airport this week. He'd arrived from Dubai and was allegedly found carrying almost 2-and-a-half-thousand Ivermectin tablets in his hand luggage. 

The police's Athlenda Mathe says he's expected to apply for bail this morning. " The SAPS can confirm that the said medicine is not registered with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority( SAHPRA). 

The man has already appeared before the Verulam Magistrates Court where he has been charged with being in possession of unregistered medicines and the importation of medicines without a valid permit. 

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority has cautioned against using the anti-parasitic drug to treat Covid-19 patients. 

The medicine isn't registered with the authority. SAHPRA says there are no data confirming it as effective in managing coronavirus infections. The authority says clinical trials involving Ivermectin in Covid‐19 patients are poor and underpowered.

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