News of Africa Ivermectin Metaanalysis

Ivermectin Metaanalysis

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Tess Lawrie’s group’s metaanalysis of ivermectin research papers, published in June, has received a great deal of positive attention. It was, as expected, carefully done. The authors graded the quality of the papers they reviewed.

The abstract noted:

“Therapeutic Advances: Meta-analysis of 15 trials found that ivermectin reduced risk of death compared with no ivermectin (average risk ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.19–0.73; n 5 2438; I2 5 49%; moderate-certainty evidence)…” This means that using only evidence of moderately good quality (high quality is often hard to come by, especially using observational data), if 100 people sick enough with Covid to die are given ivermectin, only 38 will die, and 62% will be saved.

“Low-certainty evidence found that ivermectin prophylaxis reduced COVID-19 infection by an average 86% (95% confidence interval 79%–91%).” 

More doctors are using the drug. More patients are hearing about it. I have been getting more calls from patients who want to know about it. The NY Times said pharmacists are filling 88,000 scripts a week now.

Covid death rates, compared to the number of cases diagnosed, are way down compared to 2020 and last winter. While the NYT says there are 100,000 Covid patients in hospital now, only 1,500 are dying daily, or 1.5%, a much lower percentage than previous waves.

This is probably due to lower virulence of current variants, some benefit from vaccination, less use of ventilators and more use fo effective therapeutics.

And so now the CDC is coming down hard and many pharmacist have decided to stop filling the scripts in the past week. More on this in my next post.

Meryl Nass, MD
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