Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021

Two lawmakers slammed the Department of Health (DOH) for its decision to acquire P1 billion worth of remdesivir that they claim was rejected by the World Health Organization to treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor and House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza said the transaction was a waste of money.

“We consider all new purchases of remdesivir as reckless and foolish spending in light of the WHO recommendation, and considering that [the] government is scrounging for money to buy more Covid-19 vaccines and pay for the P2,000 cash aid for every Filipino contemplated under the Bayanihan 3 bill,” Defensor said in a statement.

He warned that the purchase of remdesivir can be seen as highly detrimental to the government under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a separate statement, Atienza said the DOH buying P1-billion worth of the drug was a “wasteful double standard” of promoting expensive treatments for Covid-19, adding ivermectin that costs only P35 to P40 per capsule can be studied to treat the virus.

“The DOH should stop importing and using remdesivir. Otherwise, the public will start suspecting that some [DOH] officials are making money on the purchases,” Atienza said.

“Other wealthy nations can throw their money away on remdesivir if they want to, but in our case, we simply can’t afford to,” he added.

Both Atienza and Defensor have been advocating for the use of ivermectin to help treat Covid-19. SOVEREIGNPH

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