|From the two-page bird-group.org Join Our Campaign flyer: Covid-19 deaths and fear of the virus have paralysed the world, destroying lives and livelihoods. Yet, to date, remarkably few treatments have been identified and shared by global health authorities to reduce hospitalisations and deaths linked to the virus. In spite of this vacuum, many doctors have been quietly but successfully using a medicine called Ivermectin to treat people with covid-19. In the past year, the list of countries that use Ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of the virus has grown to include the Czech Republic, Bolivia, Honduras, Peru, Slovakia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, among others. And based on the latest evidence, doctors and scientists are now calling for Ivermectin’s approval in every country of the world. Ivermectin is a medication that has been widely used for around forty years to treat parasitic infections in adults and children. It is considered safe and effective and is notable for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. More than 3½ billion doses of Ivermectin have been given worldwide. It is included in the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines and in 2015 its discoverers won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for the drug. In December 2020, Dr Tess Lawrie, a medical doctor and researcher based in Bath, who is the Director and runs the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy (E-BMC), became interested in the Ivermectin story after having seen Dr Pierre Kory pleading while giving testimony in the United States Senate on Medical Response to COVID-19 to allow doctors to prescribe Ivermectin for use against the coronavirus. After examining the studies that Dr Kory referenced, Dr Lawrie and her team of experienced researchers at the E-BMC reviewed and assessed the evidence on Ivermectin for covid-19 and shared it widely in the UK and internationally.|
Before we end I would like to share with you a few reflections on ivermectin and the state of affairs with regard to evidence-based medicine.
As a scientist tasked with providing evidence along evidence-based medicine principles, I have become aware that the hierarchical approach to evidence synthesis, where systematic reviews sit at the top of the evidence pyramid, and expert opinion and consensus at the bottom, is no longer appropriate. This is partly because the integrity of systematic reviews and meta-analysis has become degraded by the increasing requirements about the conduct of randomized controlled trials, the considered gold standard of clinical studies that favor the pharmaceutical industry. Large randomized trials have become hugely resource intensive. 70-page trial protocols and grant applications require months of time and expertise to jump through all the hoops required for processing and authorization. In addition they cost millions of dollars. These requirements play into the hands of Big Pharma who are the only ones who can afford such trials.
Large randomized clinical trials of generic medicines and non-pharmaceutical interventions which deserve to be evaluated for a number of viral and cancerous conditions are rare because frankly there is no money to be made and there is no funding available.
In my experience of evaluating trial reports of novel anti-cancer agents, it is common that early trial findings showing benefits leading to the drug’s approval are contradicted by later evidence showing no benefit. By then the drug has already been licensed for use and the pharmaceutical company has already made billions.
For this reason I caution against the unquestioning acceptance of data provided by the developers of novel treatments and strongly suggest these need independent evaluation. Not by academics and institutions receiving unlimited research grants and funding from the pharmaceutical industry and their associated fund companies and charities. But by independent, objective scientists with no conflicts of interest.
It is time we recognize and scrutinize the involvement of industry and institutions once known for their scientific integrity and all the so-called public-private partnerships and charitable foundations that have facilitated the corruption of science and our honourable profession, healing.
They who design the trials and control the data also control the outcome. So this system in focus of industry-led trials needs to be put to an end. Data from ongoing and future trials of novel covid treatments must be independently controlled and analyzed. Anything less than total transparency cannot be trusted.
With regard to the evidence pyramid there needs to be a new approach, an integrated evidence approach instead of a tiered hierarchical approach. Instead of a pyramid, in my opinion a circle would be more appropriate where the center represents the integrated body of evidence from different sources. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials would then represent one of several types of evidence including observational studies, real-world data, qualitative data on people’s views and experiences and doctor’s expert opinion. This would inform clinical practice decision-making in a much more holistic way.
All of these different types of data are critical to the big picture and integration of these data has been absent in the evaluation of all interventions imposed on the public over the course of the last year. Instead, authorities have cherry picked science and the scientists to support their flawed decision-making processes.
The story of ivermectin has highlighted that we are at a remarkable juncture in medical history where rigorous scientific evidence, our training and experience, the tools that we use to heal, and our connection with our patients are being systematically undermined by relentless disinformation stemming from corporate greed.
The story of ivermectin shows that we as the public have misplaced our trust in the authorities and have underestimated the extent to which money and power corrupts.
Had ivermectin been employed in 2020, when medical colleagues around the world first alerted the authorities to its efficacy, millions of lives could have been saved and the pandemic with all of the associated suffering and loss brought to a rapid and timely end.
Since then hundreds of millions of people have been involved in the largest medical experiment in human history; mass vaccination with an unproven novel therapy, hundreds of billions will be made by big pharma and paid for by the public.
With politicians and other non-medical individuals dictating to us what we are allowed to prescribe to the ill, we as doctors have been put in a position such that our ability to uphold our hippocratic oath is under attack.
At this fateful juncture we must therefore choose: Will we continue to be held ransomed by corrupt organizations, health authorities, big pharma and billionaire sociopaths? Or will we do our moral and professional duty to do no harm and always do the best for those in our care?
The latter includes urgently reaching out to colleagues around the world to discuss which of our tried and tested safe older medicines can be used against covid, holding medical forums free of conflict-of-interest like this one, and banding together as health professionals to stand up to the medical tyranny that has been imposed on us and the public over the past year.
To this end I suggest we form a new world health organization. A health organization that represents the interests and well-being of the people, not corporations and billionaires. An organization focused on optimizing human health and potential, not contraception and population control. A people-centered organization. And never before has our role as doctors been more important because never before have we been complicit in potentially causing so much harm.
I ask all doctors here today to look into their hearts and remember their oath so that we can move forward united in the protection of those we serve and with the greatest of courage.