The number of Covid-19 infections remains to increase from time to time. It has successfully infected millions of people in various parts of the world. Many parties have been trying to find a cure for the disease caused by this new type of coronavirus. In fact, in recent times, there have been many parties that claim drug discovery is considered to cure COVID.
Responding to the dynamics of the discovery of the Covid-19 drug in the country, Dean of the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. apt. Agung Endro Nugroho, M.Sc., Ph.D., expressed his appreciation for the attempts made by the nation's youths in finding solutions to overcome Covid-19. The various efforts to find these drugs are a form of empathy, shared enthusiasm, and responsibility of the Indonesian people in facing the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, if there are deficiencies and weaknesses, hopefully, they can strengthen each other through corrections, critical attitudes, and directions from other parties.
"The discovery of drugs and vaccines requires competence and expertise in these fields and it must be carried out collaboratively," he explained on Monday (24/8).
On the one hand, people also require attention to input and criticism from several other parties, especially their complementary and constructive nature. According to him, the sense of mutual correction, criticizing, providing input and direction can further strengthen the existing drug and vaccine discoveries. Besides, it is also necessary to complement existing deficiencies.
"This is part of the dynamics that aims to optimize the efforts that have been made and can be beneficial for the community," he said.
UGM Pharmacology Expert, Prof. apt. Zullies Ikawati, Ph.D., appreciated the efforts made by various parties in the exploration of Covid-19 drugs. Even so, she asked that we should not rush in the process to claim and release the findings as a Covid-19 drug. This is because in the future it will compromise the public if the drugs are used without a good, correct research process and its accuracy and validity have been tested.
"Do not rush to claim before the data is reconsidered, either through scientific journals or evaluations by BPOM. If the validity and accuracy of the data have not been confirmed, please don't rush to release it to the public," said the Professor of the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy.
She stressed that all clinical trials in drug discovery, including Covid-19, must be carried out according to accurate and valid research passages. Not only that, but clinical trials also need to remain open and transparent procedures.
Zullies said there are several rules in clinical trials that must be fulfilled by researchers which are contained in the guidelines for good clinical trial methods (CUKB). CUKB is an ethical and scientific quality standard that is internationally referenced to design, conduct, record, and report clinical trials involving the participation of human subjects. Adhering to this standard will assure the public that the rights, safety, and welfare of clinical trial subjects are protected and the resulting data can be trusted.
UGM has also conducted various innovations and research to assist in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic. Some innovations produced include an ICU ventilator, a Covid-19 rapid test tool, a Gama Swab Sampling Camber, a hot camber, a mask sterilization box, and others.
Deputy Dean for Research, Community Service, Cooperation, and Alumni of the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy, Dr. rer. nat. apt. R.R. Endang Lukitaningsih, M.Sc., said that she was also conducting research to support efforts to prevent and handle Covid-19. One of them is developing standardized herbal medicines for immunomodulators which will be developed in level to become phytopharmaca as an immune-boosting supplement. Also, she conducted her innovation by producing a viral transport medium that is currently widely used in Indonesia, including in Yogyakarta, Central Java, Jakarta, and Jayapura.
"Furthermore, we also produce alcohol-based hand-sanitizers and conduct PPE quality testing services," she added.
Translator: Natasa A