Like penicillin and aspirin, ivermectin is a medication that derives from nature.
Although it was little known in advanced health economies before COVID, the drug has an incredible history of promoting health in underdeveloped countries. Approved for human use in 1987, it has been instrumental in tackling some of the world’s most harmful tropical diseases, such as Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis (also known as Elephantiasis), strongyloidiasis and scabies. It also effectively fights parasitic infestations in animals, which can be economically devastating to the livestock industry.
In addition to being an effective, broad-spectrum anti-parasitic, many healthcare professionals have been using ivermectin for decades to treat a variety of other diseases.
“Few, if any, other drugs can rival ivermectin for its beneficial impact on human health and welfare,” wrote Andy Crump in The Journal of Antibiotics in 2017. Crump worked with Satoshi Ōmura, the Japanese microbiologist responsible for discovering ivermectin, for decades.
Ivermectin is one of the safest drugs known. It is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, has been given over 4 billion times around the globe, and won the Nobel Prize for its global and historic impacts in eradicating endemic parasitic infections in many parts of the world.