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Covid-19: Nigeria's drugs agency NAFDAC considers 21 herbal products for usage

By Charles Joseph

July 11, 2020 - The Nigerian Food and Drug Agency, is currently processing 21 herbal products for possible use as immune boosters against Covid-19 says its Director General, Prof. Mojisols Adeyeye.

Adeyeye said on saturday that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is screening the products for “Safe use” or Listing status.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of the agency, disclosed this in a statement she signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.

According to Adeyeye, manufacturers of these products who have applied to the agency claimed that their products are only immune boosters and anti-infectives useful for relief of symptoms that could be associated with COVID-19.

The director-general said in the statement that no clinical study has been done yet on any of the products to prove their claim of efficacy.

“Listing status involves the review of the composition of the formulation, the labelling of the product, the process of manufature and ‘Safe to use’ testing.

“Once the product is able to meet all requirements, a listing status is granted with a clear disclaimer that states clearly that the claims have not been evaluated by NAFDAC.

“The applicant can arrange for clinical trials at this stage, that will involve use of human subjects in order to prove efficacy of claim for treatment following laid down procedures and with the approval of NAFDAC,” Adeyeye said.

She said that most of the applicants that submitted herbal medicines that are currently undergoing processing have been issued compliance directive to provide additional information and evidence of good manufacturing practice for their medicines.

According to her, PAXHERBAL, a pharmaceutical company applied for listing of Pax Herbal Cugzin Capsule 290mg, which was approved by the agency and listed as “Safe to use”.

She said the applicant only claimed that the medicine is an immune boosters and an anti-infectives.

Adeyeye added that as part of the labeling of the product, and in line with global practice, a disclaimer is on the product label that clearly states that the claims have not been evaluated by NAFDAC.

According to her, the statement circulating in the social media that NAFDAC has approved Paxherbal product “specifically for treating symptoms associated with coronavirus is wrong and inaccurate.

“Until a clinical study is done in a scientific manner, no herbal medicine manufacturer can claim effectiveness to treat COVID-19 associated symptoms”.

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