College of GPs comes out against Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment

6 September 2021

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is urging the public to be smart about misinformation highlighting untested and unapproved treatments of COVID-19, such as Ivermectin.

Dr Bryan Betty, the College’s Medical Director says "The spread of misinformation is frustrating and can be highly dangerous, as recent media reports have shown.

"The use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 is being researched through clinical trials but it is very important to note that at this point there is no evidence that supports the use of this medicine in the treatment of COVID-19.

"Simply put, off-label* use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 is strongly not recommended," says Dr Betty.

General practitioners, who are often the first point of contact for people seeking trusted health information, have a responsibility to provide patients with clear evidence-based advice, which they are taking very seriously. "I’ve had reports of some patients very unhappy that their GP won’t prescribe them Ivermectin for COVID-19, which is the right call.

"GPs are medical specialists and have an understanding of medications and their effect; trust us," says Dr Betty.

The most reliable way in New Zealand for people to protect themselves and their whānau against COVID-19 is through vaccination. All COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available to anyone currently in New Zealand, regardless of their immigration status.

*‘Off label’ medicines are those which have not been approved by MedSafe to ensure they are safe and effective for people in New Zealand. Health Navigator provides very good information for the public on unapproved medicines.