Amazon Canada has taken action on its platform to prevent shoppers from purchasing ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.
The drug is used to treat parasites in humans and animals, but the formulas are different.
Health Canada on Tuesday issued advice asking people not to take the drug to treat COVID-19, after CBC News reported that some people were trying to take the veterinary form of the drug intended for livestock, likely due to misinformation circulating about its effectiveness in the treatment. This purpose.
“There is no evidence that ivermectin is present in either of them [the human or veterinary] The federal agency warned Tuesday that the preparation is safe or effective when used for these purposes.
“The human version of ivermectin is only allowed to be sold in Canada to treat helminth infections in humans.
“The veterinary version of ivermectin, especially at high doses, can be dangerous to humans and may cause serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure … coma and even death.”
CBC News reported on Monday that dozens of social media posts appeared to show Canadians trying or successfully obtaining ivermectin from online stores such as Amazon in recent months.
At that time, some versions of medicines intended for treating horses were available for sale on the site from other sellers, but these lists have since disappeared. Tongue-in-cheek reviews left on the US site indicate that shoppers were using it for humans rather than cattle.
Amazon Canada said Wednesday, in response to a request from CBC News sent over the weekend, that it does not offer ivermectin even though some over-the-counter products are allowed for sale in Canada.
The company said its top priority is customer safety and that it added a disclaimer for searching the property’s listings.
This disclaimer appears to have changed over the course of Wednesday, initially linking to Health Canada’s coronavirus information page and then later to Federal agency warning About ivermectin.
The search results for ivermectin also appear to have changed. Now when a shopper searches for “ivermectin COVID,” there are no results listed, only the disclaimer that warns against taking the drug for this purpose. The search for “horse ivermectin” is yielding other animal care products, from vitamins to other deworming medications.
The proposed search results no longer associate the term “ivermectin” with “COVID-19”.
Tech companies have struggled with how to keep misinformation off their platforms throughout the pandemic. Some have updated their policies, removed posts or added disclaimers, but it’s proven to be an ongoing challenge as new claims surface frequently.
Health Canada said it is closely monitoring all potential treatments for COVID-19, including ivermectin.
“In the event a manufacturer submits to Health Canada regarding the use of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, Health Canada will conduct a scientific evaluation of the evidence to determine the drug’s quality, safety and efficacy,” the agency said.
Complete list of Medicines and vaccines Licensed to treat or prevent COVID-19 is available on the Health Canada website.
There are more than 32,000 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
Doctors say the most effective prevention of COVID-19 is available for free and doesn’t have to be ordered on Amazon: vaccination.