By Dominique Tassell
The promotion of Ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment is creating a shortage for those who really need it – regional Australians just trying to look after their animals.
While there are no reports of an increased demand in the region due to the false promotion of the drug as a treatment for Covid-19, local stores are reporting that they cannot order in the drug for verified purposes.
While some have touted the drug as a Covid-19 treatment, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has banned the use of ivermectin for such purposes.
The TGA placed new restrictions on the prescribing of oral ivermectin on 10 September after being advised to do so by the Advisory Committee for Medicines Scheduling.
Kathy from Olsen’s says they haven’t really had a demand for the horse version of the drug, but are unable to order more at the moment.
“There was talk of it at first,” she says. “People would come into the store and talk about it.
“But we haven’t had to order any more.”
She says even if there was increased demand, they can’t get any of the drug anyway as it’s not in stock anywhere.
Warwick Equine Veterinarians says they haven’t encountered a spike in enquiries or unusual amount of demand for the drug.
Neville Produce in Applethorpe stated that while they have the paste version of equimec available in store, they have no liquid stock available through their supplier.
They did state that they don’t normally order a lot of it, however do not have the option at the moment.
They stated that they have had people “coming in to the store and commenting on how crazy it is that people are taking it”, but no actual increased demand for the drug.
It has been suggested that increased cattle numbers could also be contributing to the shortage, as there is a version of the drug available for cattle.
Suppliers are reluctant to comment on the shortage, possibly due to not wanting to be linked to the controversial drug.