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Ivermectin would have been “confiscated“in the French Antilles and would be”out of order“in Marseille, according to a man in a video shared ten thousand times on Facebook in 48 hours. It is unfounded: the Directorate General of Health, a representative of the Regional Order of Pharmacists as well as the prefecture, the regional health agency and three pharmacies in Martinique have denied these claims.In Martinique, however, pharmacists have reported shortages of the drug recently, due to increased demand.
In video toured and published live on Facebook on August 21, in the midst of an anti-health pass demonstration in Marseille, a man, claiming to have discussed with a pharmacist, explains that ivermectin, usually used against parasites such as scabies, and advocated by some doctors as effective against Covid-19, although this has not yet been proven, is “out of stock” in this city.
“The observation is that they can no longer order ivermectin, on their software: out of stock“, he says before adding that”all the stocks of ivermectin in the French overseas departments and territories, Guadeloupe and Martinique, they were confiscated by the State“.
This video has since been shared approximately 10,000 times and viewed over 43,000 times.
In Marseille, “no stock shortage”
The president of the Regional Order of Pharmacists PACA-Corsica Stéphane Pichon denied on August 23 to AFP the hypothesis of the out of stock of ivermectin in metropolitan France.
“I checked, and on all the different generics of ivermectin we are not out of stock.“, he told AFP on August 23.
“There has been demand, but no rush for ivermectin“, he said, recalling that it is a”medicine only available on prescription, with a medical prescription. “
In the West Indies, no “confiscation”
In Martinique, on the other hand, three pharmacies in Fort-de-France contacted by AFP reported on August 23 of “shortages” Where “out of stock at wholesalers“, recalling that”on an island, the stock is not expandable“.
All note “big demands“for the drug, but deny rumors of”confiscations“.
The Martinique Regional Health Agency, questioned by AFP on August 23, also refutes any seizure of the drug, adding that “even if we wanted to requisition ivermectin, we do not have this power. “
The prefecture of the overseas territory abounds: “It’s a fake news that the prefect and the director general of the ARS have repeatedly denied“.
In this territory, the incidence rate, which corresponds to the ratio between the number of new cases and the population, over 7 rolling days was approximately equivalent to 960 per 100,000 inhabitants. In Guadeloupe, it even exceeded 1,977 per 100,000 inhabitants on August 19. On average in France, this rate was equivalent to 225 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to data of Public Health France.
The last epidemiological point government of August 19 described the situation as “very critical in Martinique and Guadeloupe“.
The prefecture of Martinique recalls that in this territory, “the indicators are (finally) on the decline“, but that “the situation remains difficult in hospitals where the number of Covid patients remains high: 591 including nearly 100 in intensive care, and 13 deaths in 24 hours“.
The Directorate General of Health, questioned by AFP about the shortages in Marseille and requisitions in the West Indies, for its part said on August 23 that “no measure taken by the public authorities allows to found this rumor relating to the suppression of ivermectin in pharmacies“.
Efficacy of ivermectin against Covid discussed
The effectiveness of ivermectin against Covid-19 has not yet been demonstrated. As this article clarified, studies are still underway to assess its effectiveness, although the drug is authorized against Covid in several countries, such as Bolivia or South Africa, or in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. .
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) andWorld Health Organization (WHO) therefore advise against using ivermectin to treat Covid outside of clinical trials, in “waiting for more data to become available”.
In the United States, the drug agency, the FDA warns against the use of the antiparasitic for Covid on a page dedicated by affirming that “taking large doses of this medicine is dangerous and can cause serious damage”, and on August 21 advised Internet users not to take this drug on Twitter.