John Skerritt

Who is TGA Head John Skerritt and Why Did He Ban Ivermectin?

5 November 2021

2.8 MINS

The head of the TGA is Professor John Skerritt. He has played a huge role in Australia’s health response to COVID-19, but Skerritt has never treated a patient himself and his background is not in medicine.

Dr John Skerritt is the National Manager of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). But did you know he has a bachelor’s degree in science, majoring in agriculture? Skerritt is not a medical doctor and has never treated any patients. He has no clinical experience with COVID-19.

Skerritt obtained a PhD in Pharmacology, but for the next 20 years, he focussed his research and writings on wheat. An expert on wheat is approving vaccines and making decisions on COVID-19 treatments for Australians. Before being appointed as the TGA head in 2012, Skerritt was Deputy Secretary of Primary Industries, Victoria. Yes, agriculture again.

John Skerritt’s Ban on Ivermectin

On September 10th, 2021, Professor John Skerritt made it no longer possible for GPs in Australia to prescribe Ivermectin for COVID-19. Previously, doctors were able to prescribe the drug off-label for patients suffering from the disease. The TGA’s statement on its ban of Ivermectin can be found here.

An excellent review of the TGA’s decision by England’s Dr John Campbell can be viewed below.

 

The first reason given on the TGA’s website for their extraordinary announcement was that

The Department is concerned that there are a number of significant public health risks associated with this practice including, for example, that persons taking Ivermectin in an effort to prevent COVID-19 consider themselves to be protected against the disease, elect not to be vaccinated as part of the national COVID-19 vaccination program, and chose not to get tested or seek medical care if they experience symptoms.

So Ivermectin is dangerous because it creates vaccine hesitancy?

The Efficacy of Ivermectin Triple Therapy

What happened in the lead up to this extraordinary decision on September 10th?

There was a group of Australian doctors treating patients in Sydney and Melbourne in July, August, and September with a protocol called the Ivermectin Triple Therapy (ITT). This therapy was a combination of repurposed drugs: Ivermectin, doxycycline, and zinc. The treatment program was an amazing success.

Out of 600 patients treated, only five were admitted to hospital, and there were zero deaths. An equivalent control group of 600 patients not treated with triple therapy resulted in 70 hospital admissions and six deaths. This is real-world data.

Did John Skerritt know about this Australian trial? Was that a factor in his September 10th decision?

Skerritt Declares Normal Dosage of Ivermectin Dangerous

In a Senate estimates committee hearing on October 27th, LNP Senator Gerard Rennick questioned Professor Skerritt about the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19. Consider Skerritt’s response:

 

At this hearing, John Skerritt stated that 3–5 mg per day is a “reasonable” dose and that anything higher can be dangerous. He referred to alleged cases of poisoning in the United States. But he did not state the dosages taken in those incidents or what form of Ivermectin those patients took.

In Australia, the current recommended dose of Ivermectin for treating Strongyloides or scabies is 200ug per kg body weight, meaning that a 90kg man would take 18 mg of Ivermectin per day. Clearly then, doses of Ivermectin much higher than 3-5 mg per day are currently being taken in Australia. One would have to weigh only 15 kg to be on such a low dose. John Skerritt’s statement about the supposed dangers of Ivermectin in higher doses was therefore false.

Senator Rennick also clarified that in 2013, Merck – the former manufacturer of Ivermectin – had no safety concerns for doses of 30–120 mg. These are far greater dosages than those quoted by John Skerritt.

No Early Treatment for COVID-19 in Australia

In the Australian Public Assessment Report for Ivermectin on the TGA website, a study was cited that

… showed good tolerability and no safety concerns at doses ranging from 30 to 120 mg, that is, up to 10 times the proposed dose of 200 µg/kg for treatment of scabies.

Twenty months into this pandemic, Australia’s sole early treatment protocol for COVID-19 is “take Panadol and wait until you can’t breathe, then call the ambulance”.

In other words, there is effectively no early treatment for the disease. So why are medical professionals being barred from triple therapy – a treatment saving lives around the world?

What is the real reason that John Skerritt has banned the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 in Australia?

Originally published at Reignite Democracy Australia. Image via the Hawkesbury Gazette.

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18 Comments

  1. John Mathai 5 November 2021 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    SIMPLY STUPID. OTHER FACTORS APPEAR TO HAVE LED TOTHIS DECISION AND LEFT AUSTRALIANS POWERLESS AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT. THIS IS WORRYING FOR THE FUTURE AS IT MAYBE THE WAY WE ARE FORCED INTO DOING THINGS AGAINST OUR CONSCIENCE. A FREE COUNTRY WILL BECOME A SLAVE COUNTRY BY EDICT. MANY WILL BE JUSTIFIED TO FOLLOW THE LAW RATHER THAN FIGHT IT. GOD HELPS US ALL.

  2. Dr Guy Campbell 7 November 2021 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Great piece and spot on.
    Any article that tries to broaden the public’s knowledge that there are alternatives to lockdowns, vaccines ,etc are severely censored. We could have gone through Covid with so much less disruption and reduced health concerns by using early triple therapy treatment an Australian discovery. The only conclusion why we didn’t do it is that early triple therapy(as used in Uttar Pradesh) is too effective, too safe and too inexpensive for anyone to make a profit. Now we are repeating the same mistake by not using another Australian invention a protein based covid vaccination Covax 19. It is being used in Iran but not in Australia despite protein vaccines having a 50 year old safety history compared to no long term safety data of mRNA injections. Our own Professor Petrovsky can not afford the millions in donations to match Pfizer & Astra Zenica, and again he shows his integrity in that he doesn’t advocate his vaccination for everyone but just for the elderly & vulnerable. Tragically we have greed and corruption instead with self serving media, politicians, medical bodies and big pharma decrying the alternatives. It’s not only the tragedy caused by destruction of our society but by withholding early treatment for all, both in the vaccinated & unvaccinated is potentially going to cost more hospitalisations and lives .

  3. Vivienne Williams 7 November 2021 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    How does an expert on wheat production even be considered for a top job approving therapeutic drugs for humans?
    Maybe it is similar to how a dentist and former terrorist gets to head up the world health organization and they wonder why people are not willingly injected with an experimental gene therapy. Could it be because it clearly does not work, you still get it, you still spread it and you can still die ffrom it. Then there is the fact that they are not reporting adverse effects and discounting many as not a result of the j@b.
    I feel it is like a school of sharks at the waters edge, smiling and saying come for a swim with us, you will be perfectly safe. ????????????????????

  4. guy campbell 8 November 2021 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Great piece and spot on.
    Any article that tries to broaden the public’s knowledge that there are alternatives to lockdowns, vaccines ,etc are severely censored. We could have gone through Covid with so much less disruption and reduced health concerns by using early triple therapy treatment an Australian discovery. The only conclusion why we didn’t do it is that early triple therapy(as used in Uttar Pradesh) is too effective, too safe and too inexpensive for anyone to make a profit. Now we are repeating the same mistake by not using another Australian invention a protein based covid vaccination Covax 19. It is being used in Iran but not in Australia despite protein vaccines having a 50 year old safety history compared to no long term safety data of mRNA injections. Our own Professor Petrovsky can not afford the millions in donations to match Pfizer & Astra Zenica, and again he shows his integrity in that he doesn’t advocate his vaccination for everyone but just for the elderly & vulnerable. Tragically we have self serving media, politicians, medical bodies and big pharma suppressing the alternatives. It’s not only the tragedy caused by destruction of our society but by withholding early treatment for all, both in the vaccinated & unvaccinated is potentially going to cost more hospitalisations and lives .

    • Leonie Robson 19 November 2021 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Well, that makes me feel safer! NOT.

    • John WHITEING 5 February 2022 at 11:24 am - Reply

      The Australian Government’s response to Prof Petrovsky’s COVID vaccine SpikoGen verges on criminality in my opinion. It deserves an urgent energy with the authority and strength of a Royal Commission.

  5. C Stevens 13 November 2021 at 12:16 am - Reply

    The Therapeutic Goods Administration is part of the Health Products Regulation Group (HPRG) in the Australian Government Department of Health(link is external).
    HPRG includes the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Office of Drug Control (ODC).

    The HPRG Executive is:
    Deputy Secretary, Adjunct Prof John Skerritt
    Principal Legal and Policy Adviser, Jenny Francis
    First Assistant Secretary, Medicines Regulation Division, Dr Jane Cook
    First Assistant Secretary, Medical Devices and Product Quality Division, Tracey Duffy
    First Assistant Secretary Regulatory Practice and Support Division, Gillian Mitchell

    So that good decisions are made, the TGA employs Medical Officers who hold Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency(link is external) registration, scientists, pharmacists and other highly qualified and experienced staff. The TGA also has access to independent expert advice via a number of advisory committees, which provides the TGA with access to Australia’s most eminent and respected clinical and scientific experts.The TGA’s statutory advisory committees are established under Part 6 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990(link is external) (the Regulations).
    There are currently seven statutory advisory committees that provide independent expert advice on specific scientific and technical matters. The majority of committee members are appointed by the Minister (some specific members are determined by the relevant State and Territory jurisdictions) and must have expertise in relevant clinical or scientific fields or appropriate consumer health issues.
    https://www.tga.gov.au/structure#tga
    https://www.tga.gov.au/tga-statutory-advisory-committees
    https://www.tga.gov.au/other-committees

    The Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV) provides independent medical and scientific advice to the Minister for Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration on issues relating to the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines supplied in Australia including issues relating to pre-market assessment, post-market monitoring and safe use in national immunisation programs.

    The Committee is established under Regulation 39F of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 and the members are appointed by the Minister for Health.

    The ACV was established in January 2017, following consolidation of previous functions of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Vaccines (ACSOV) and the pre-market functions for vaccines of the Advisory Committee on Prescription Medicines (ACPM).

    Membership comprises professionals with expertise in specific scientific, medical or clinical fields, or consumer health issues.

    Membership
    Chair
    Professor Allen Cheng is an infectious diseases physician. His current appointments are as Director, Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology at Alfred Health, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine at Monash University, and as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research. Professor Cheng has diverse clinical experience in metropolitan and regional hospitals in Australia and internationally, and research interests in clinical infectious diseases, tropical medicine and influenza epidemiology. His PhD thesis was on the bacterial disease melioidosis. Professor Cheng is the Vice-President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He is currently a co-chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Professor Cheng provides expertise in the field of infectious diseases in adults and children.

    Members
    Professor Jim Buttery is a specialist paediatric infectious diseases clinician. Professor Buttery serves as the Head of Epidemiology and Surveillance for SAEFVIC and the head of Monash Immunisation at Monash Health, as well as head of the Department of Infection and Immunity at Monash Children’s Hospital. He is currently serving on the Victorian Immunisation Advisory Committee and is a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of the Global Vaccine Safety Initiative. In October 2020, he will take up the inaugural Chair in Child Health Informatics at the University of Melbourne. Professor Buttery provides expertise in infectious diseases in children, epidemiology, vaccine program implementation, and paediatrics.

    Dr Jeanine Bygott is a medical practitioner with a specialty in microbiology and experience in travel medicine clinics in Australia and Ireland. Currently a consultant medical microbiologist at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, a private pathology laboratory in Queensland, she provides advice to general practitioners on the administration of vaccines. She has completed a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Diploma Course in Vaccinology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists in medical microbiology and virology. Dr Bygott provides expertise in bacteriology, virology, and the provision of immunisation treatment by an individual.

    Associate Professor Rosemary Ffrench is a Principal Fellow at the Burnet Institute, and a consultant to the World Health Organization on maintaining laboratory capacity in emergency settings. Her academic appointment at Monash University includes lecturing on vaccines, infectious diseases and immunology. She has published extensively on human immunity and vaccine development and holds a patent for the MicroCube vaccine platform. Associate Professor Ffrench provides expertise in immunology, diagnostics and vaccine development.

    Ms Madeline Hall is a Nurse Practitioner specialising in vaccine preventable diseases with a special interest in vaccine safety. She has extensive experience in vaccine preventable diseases and is involved in advanced health assessments and risk screening of adults with specific vaccination requirements, such as persons who have had a previous serious or unexpected adverse event following immunisation, immuno-compromised persons, and those at occupational risk. Ms Hall is a member of ATAGI and a member of the Adverse Events Following Immunisation – Clinical Assessment Network. Ms Hall provides expertise in the fields of provision of immunisation treatment by an individual and nursing.

    Professor Kristine Macartney is the Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance, a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney. Her doctoral thesis was on rotavirus infection and mucosal immunity. She is the senior technical editor of the Australian Immunisation Handbook and has research interests in viral vaccine preventable diseases, vaccine safety and policy-making. Professor Macartney served on the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Vaccines throughout its period of operation. Professor Macartney provides expertise in the fields of vaccinology, adverse events surveillance, infectious diseases, virology, epidemiology and paediatrics.

    Professor Lisa Nissen is the Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology. A registered pharmacist, Professor Nissen was the chair of the Queensland Pharmacists Immunisation Pilot and the research leader for the evaluation of the pilot implementation, tasked with ensuring that the training development was fit for purpose and that the data collected included safety outcomes. She worked with the Australian Pharmacy Council to develop accreditation standards for the vaccination training programs for pharmacists. Her research interests include the quality use of medicines and the factors that influence prescribing. Professor Nissen provides expertise in vaccine program implementation.

    Dr Vicky Sheppeard is a public health physician specialising in communicable disease control. As Director of the Communicable Diseases Branch, NSW she delivered new immunisation programs, responded to emerging infectious disease threats, and adopted innovative technologies. Dr Sheppeard has also served as the NSW representative on Communicable Disease Network Australia and deputy chair of the National Immunisation Committee. Dr Vicky Sheppeard provides expertise in the fields of communicable disease control in adults and children and vaccine program implementation.

    Associate Professor Adrienne Torda is a physician specialising in infectious diseases. She is a senior staff specialist in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney. She has a PhD, a Graduate Diploma of Bioethics, is an Associate Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Health Professional Educators and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research interests include translational research topics such as vaccine coverage in vulnerable populations and diabetic foot infections. She is involved in a number of medical education research projects, examining the impact of educational innovations in medicine. From 2004 to 2007 she was a member of the National Influenza Pandemic Committee. Associate Professor Torda provides expertise in infectious diseases in adults and children.

    Ms Diane Walsh is the Deputy Chair of the Board of the Northern Territory Primary Health Network (PHN) and is currently on the Advisory Group of the PHN Immunisation Support Program. She previously served as the chair of the Top End Division of General Practice Board of Management for over 10 years, and has been a member of the Northern Territory Medical Board, the management committee of Health Consumers of Rural and Remote Australia, and the National Medicines Policy Committee. Ms Walsh provided the consumer perspective on the statutory Therapeutic Goods Committee, including on medicine labelling. She has worked as a school teacher and operated a small business. Ms Walsh provides expertise in health issues from the consumer perspective.

    • John WHITEING 5 February 2022 at 11:28 am - Reply

      I would like to know which members of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV) were involved in the decision not to pursue the option of Prof Petrovsky’s vaccine SpikoGen.

  6. guy campbell 20 November 2021 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Looks like some good people on the TGA board, so why did they ban Ivermectin?.
    It is proven to work , as per the links below but is being totally suppressed.

    https://www.thedesertreview.com/opinion/columnists/indias-ivermectin-blackout—part-v-the-secret-revealed

    https://youtu.be/eD9BYCYwsUI. Ivermectin Kits

    https://www.covidmedicalnetwork.com/media/TrialSite-media-release-19.10.2021.pdf

    More so than that ,Pfizer’s new antiviral Paxlovid works on the same principal re as a protease inhibitor as Ivermectin, which is excellent but it is not as good or as proven as with Ivermectin yet will cost vastly more.

    https://youtu.be/ufy2AweXRkc

    It is sad to believe but as Dr John Campbell implicitly states this is a scandal. Ditto as with Professor Petrovskys Covax 19 vaccination, another Australian discovery as per triple therapy which has needed gofundme support to be even looked at. If the TGA could look at the science & not the politics we would be in a much healthier position in all respects.

    • John WW 5 February 2022 at 11:13 am - Reply

      To my knowledge there are no peer reviewed research reports of randomised tests in respected journals that show Ivermectin works as a therapeutic medicine against COVID. Do you? So far all that I have seen/ heard is anecdotal evidence.

  7. Steiner 23 November 2021 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    What study does Skerrmit cite, in order to back up his narrative? Furthermore, did he base his decision on the reports he mentions regarding those overdosing…? What were the doses taken? can he provide that info.? if not, then it is irrelevant and should be loudly objected to.

  8. Tony LAKE 29 November 2021 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    If you want to be brutally honest, Dr John Campbell is a nurse educator with a PHD (hence the honorific) So if you want to ensure everyone understands Skerrit comes from an agricultural background, perhaps you should include that Dr John Campbell is not a medical doctor in one common usage of the term although he has been involved directly with human medicine. And by the way, Dr Steven Miles (Queensland Deputy Premier and Minster for Health) is a Bachelor of Arts and a PHD (again hence the honorific) where his doctoral thesis was ‘Union Renewal’ (Wikipedia).

    • John WHITEING 5 February 2022 at 11:17 am - Reply

      I agree with you comment. Carlisle has been shown by scientists to have some difficulties in understanding scientific research papers – he can get it wrong.

      Skerritt is too political.

  9. steve 5 December 2021 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    The scale and impact of this global program is staggering.

    The exceedingly vast magnitude of profit, and the scale of societal transformation, is also unquestionable.

    Therefore these appointed professionals involved (across the board) must be subject to rigorous scrutiny regarding conflicts of interests, and past & present relations with the beneficiaries, including Pharma, BMGF, and GAVI to name a few. Not to mention any investments that could compromise their judgement.

    It’s one thing to provide a long list of credentials, but are any, or all, of them bought and paid for?

    Their past or present research funding or otherwise? – especially if they have side gigs, board positions, and affiliations, etc.

    That information should be a national priority to reassure the public.

    The ABC and the rest of the media are clearly imbued with a very unhealthy bias in my view, so you can’t rely on traditional journalism, whilst potentially suffering from the same conflicts of interest.

    These individuals are making decisions that will have profound implications for humanities well being, and the future of our collective immune resilience, and integrity, for generations to come.

  10. Eric 7 December 2021 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Absolute Criminal how Australia appoints the most unqualified persons in position like this. I see it everyday I my occupation.
    Bloody 3rd world mentality

  11. John WW 3 February 2022 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Before you swallow this article loaded with misinformation by the celebrated anti-vaxxer Monica Smit consider just one bit of misinformation she offers from Dr John Carlisle promoting Ivermectin…
    https://youtu.be/H95VCYLBh-A

  12. John WHITEING 5 February 2022 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Sorry I mean Campbell not Carlisle!

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