Pfizer and Merck are testing new Anti-COVID-19 pills

Contribution Part 126/21 # 18 (Special)

But, what does that suggest about the “bird already in the hand,” Ivermectin ?

BRADES, Montserrat, September 6, 2021 – According to a Sept 1, 2021, Reuters news feed,[1] “Pfizer Inc . . . and Merck & Co Inc . . .  announced . . .  new trials of their experimental oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19.” Reuters then continues: “ . . .  as the race to develop an easy-to-administer treatment for the potentially fatal illness heats up.” It seems, that Pfizer is testing effectiveness on 1,140 non-hospitalised patients “who are not at risk of severe illness.” Meanwhile, since July, Pfizer has been running another trial for patients “who are at high risk of becoming severely ill due to underlying health conditions such as diabetes.” Pfizer’s CEO, in a related tweet, stated that “Success against #COVID19 will likely require both vaccines & treatments.”[2]

All of this is indeed progress towards hopefully effective treatment.

However, such an announcement immediately raises the bird in the hand question: Ivermectin.

To see some of its force, let us note how the above fits in with a response to Jamaica’s Health Minister by a signatory of the Jamaican Doctors’ May 20th letter,[3] Charles Royes:

“Merck Pharmaceuticals, the original manufacturer of Ivermectin, no longer has a patent on production. They can no longer compete with low-cost manufacturers and have no financial interest in the drug. Instead, Merck has committed millions of dollars towards the development of another drug, Molnupiravir, which it hopes to market as a treatment for COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, Japan requested Merck to conduct clinical trials with Ivermectin and they declined.”

Plainly, if success against Covid-19 “will likely require both vaccines & treatments,” then, why was credible, adequate evidence of the effectiveness of Ivermectin[4] sidelined? And why is there a push to use disreputable tactics such as pushing the notion that it is horse deworming medicine . . . neatly omitting its Nobel Prize-winning performance against river blindness and evidence of antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects? Where, as that evidence was available in a key part in 2020, doesn’t that suggest that delays have cost us dear?

Of course, it has been convenient for many to dismiss that body of evidence as lacking credibility. The problem with that is, that in fact Ivermectin has been in use in several regions and has shown startling impact, on population-level data.

For just one example, as TMR discussed earlier,[5] here is the case of Slovakia – showing how case rates sharply taper off once Ivermectin was made widely available:

Similar patterns in Indonesia, India, Peru, and Mexico should give us pause before we take convenient dismissals at face value. Peru in particular gave the world a natural experiment across its 25 states, in a population of 33 million, as Dr. John Campbell of the UK summarised.

Dehli India is typical of Indian cases

Dehli, India is typical of Indian cases:

So, it is quite plausible that had Ivermectin been given a more fair hearing, we would have been able to put on the ground, treatments plus vaccine strategy many months ago. Recall, now that he has a competitor to Ivermectin (but one likely to make much bigger profits) Pfizer’s CEO has gone on record, that success against Covid-19 “will likely require both vaccines & treatments.”

We can call that an inadvertently telling admission against interest, so, likely to be true. Here, an admission that can hardly be a brand new realisation, as serious development work for the candidate oral drug has to have been ongoing since the early days of the crisis.  Likewise, for efforts by Merck, which also declined a Japanese request to study Ivermectin.

It is also worth the while to ponder a moment on why both treatments and vaccines are now on the table. For, the vaccines are non sterilising and seem to significantly fade after about six months. This is why there seems to be a push for third jabs, with Israel in the lead. Suggestions point to regular onward boosters. Such in turn points to selection pressure on the virus from the vaccines, leading to the emergence of breakout variants comparable to antibiotic or insecticide resistance. That is, we need effective anti-viral treatments to help stop the progress of infections, also further reducing spreading. And yes, the “fully vaccinated” can catch and spread the disease.

Again, as a report on Israel noted[6]:

“As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19 . . . 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,”  says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) . . . “One of the big stories from Israel [is]: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’” [“A grim warning from Israel: Vaccination blunts but does not defeat Delta” Science Mag dot Org, August 16, 2021.]


[1] See https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizer-starts-dosing-patients-oral-covid-19-drug-trial-2021-09-01/

[2] See https://twitter.com/AlbertBourla/status/1433024869168558081?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

[3] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/jamaican-doctors-stage-an-ivermectin-uprising/

[4] See https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Ivermectin-in-the-prophylaxis-and-treatment-of-COVID-19.pdf

[5] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/ivermectin-some-population-level-evidence/

[6] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/covid-19-vaccine-trends-concerns-and-misinformation/ see also https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta 

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Contribution Part 126/21 # 18 (Special)

But, what does that suggest about the “bird already in the hand,” Ivermectin ?

BRADES, Montserrat, September 6, 2021 – According to a Sept 1, 2021, Reuters news feed,[1] “Pfizer Inc . . . and Merck & Co Inc . . .  announced . . .  new trials of their experimental oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19.” Reuters then continues: “ . . .  as the race to develop an easy-to-administer treatment for the potentially fatal illness heats up.” It seems, that Pfizer is testing effectiveness on 1,140 non-hospitalised patients “who are not at risk of severe illness.” Meanwhile, since July, Pfizer has been running another trial for patients “who are at high risk of becoming severely ill due to underlying health conditions such as diabetes.” Pfizer’s CEO, in a related tweet, stated that “Success against #COVID19 will likely require both vaccines & treatments.”[2]

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All of this is indeed progress towards hopefully effective treatment.

However, such an announcement immediately raises the bird in the hand question: Ivermectin.

To see some of its force, let us note how the above fits in with a response to Jamaica’s Health Minister by a signatory of the Jamaican Doctors’ May 20th letter,[3] Charles Royes:

“Merck Pharmaceuticals, the original manufacturer of Ivermectin, no longer has a patent on production. They can no longer compete with low-cost manufacturers and have no financial interest in the drug. Instead, Merck has committed millions of dollars towards the development of another drug, Molnupiravir, which it hopes to market as a treatment for COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, Japan requested Merck to conduct clinical trials with Ivermectin and they declined.”

Plainly, if success against Covid-19 “will likely require both vaccines & treatments,” then, why was credible, adequate evidence of the effectiveness of Ivermectin[4] sidelined? And why is there a push to use disreputable tactics such as pushing the notion that it is horse deworming medicine . . . neatly omitting its Nobel Prize-winning performance against river blindness and evidence of antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects? Where, as that evidence was available in a key part in 2020, doesn’t that suggest that delays have cost us dear?

Of course, it has been convenient for many to dismiss that body of evidence as lacking credibility. The problem with that is, that in fact Ivermectin has been in use in several regions and has shown startling impact, on population-level data.

For just one example, as TMR discussed earlier,[5] here is the case of Slovakia – showing how case rates sharply taper off once Ivermectin was made widely available:

Similar patterns in Indonesia, India, Peru, and Mexico should give us pause before we take convenient dismissals at face value. Peru in particular gave the world a natural experiment across its 25 states, in a population of 33 million, as Dr. John Campbell of the UK summarised.

Dehli India is typical of Indian cases

Dehli, India is typical of Indian cases:

So, it is quite plausible that had Ivermectin been given a more fair hearing, we would have been able to put on the ground, treatments plus vaccine strategy many months ago. Recall, now that he has a competitor to Ivermectin (but one likely to make much bigger profits) Pfizer’s CEO has gone on record, that success against Covid-19 “will likely require both vaccines & treatments.”

We can call that an inadvertently telling admission against interest, so, likely to be true. Here, an admission that can hardly be a brand new realisation, as serious development work for the candidate oral drug has to have been ongoing since the early days of the crisis.  Likewise, for efforts by Merck, which also declined a Japanese request to study Ivermectin.

It is also worth the while to ponder a moment on why both treatments and vaccines are now on the table. For, the vaccines are non sterilising and seem to significantly fade after about six months. This is why there seems to be a push for third jabs, with Israel in the lead. Suggestions point to regular onward boosters. Such in turn points to selection pressure on the virus from the vaccines, leading to the emergence of breakout variants comparable to antibiotic or insecticide resistance. That is, we need effective anti-viral treatments to help stop the progress of infections, also further reducing spreading. And yes, the “fully vaccinated” can catch and spread the disease.

Again, as a report on Israel noted[6]:

“As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19 . . . 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,”  says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) . . . “One of the big stories from Israel [is]: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’” [“A grim warning from Israel: Vaccination blunts but does not defeat Delta” Science Mag dot Org, August 16, 2021.]


[1] See https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizer-starts-dosing-patients-oral-covid-19-drug-trial-2021-09-01/

[2] See https://twitter.com/AlbertBourla/status/1433024869168558081?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

[3] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/jamaican-doctors-stage-an-ivermectin-uprising/

[4] See https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Ivermectin-in-the-prophylaxis-and-treatment-of-COVID-19.pdf

[5] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/ivermectin-some-population-level-evidence/

[6] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/covid-19-vaccine-trends-concerns-and-misinformation/ see also https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta