Home News COVID-19: NAFDAC approves 2 herbal drugs for clinical trial

COVID-19: NAFDAC approves 2 herbal drugs for clinical trial

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has approved two herbal drugs to undergo clinical trials towards the treatment of COVID-19.

A statement on Sunday by the agency Resident Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, however, denounced the claim of approval of IHP Detox Tea for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

NAFDAC alleged that a claim was made in March by the Chief Executive Officer of Bioresources Development and Conservative Programme, Professor Maurice Iwu on one of the dailies about the approval I of Detox Tea.

The statement quoted the Director-General of the agency, Professor Moji Adeyeye, saying that “Only NAFDAC has the mandate to make any pronouncement on any regulated products that showed satisfactory scientific evidence.”

Prof. Adeyeye said that the agency frowned at the media reports ostensibly circulated at the instance of the promoters of IHP Detox Tea which claimed that the herbal medicine was the only product approved by NAFDAC for the treatment of COVID-19.

The agency D-G said that a letter had been written to Prof. Maurice Iwu, that only NAFDAC was authorised by the law to make any pronouncement on safety and efficacy of all regulated products with satisfactory scientific evidence (Clinical Trial).

Adeyeye however frowned over the statement without paying much attention to the provision of the law on the stance of IHP Detox Tea without satisfactory clinical trials.

She explained that three herbal formulations were approved for clinical trial studies during the COVID-19 Pandemic, adding that, two studies had commenced, including the IHP Detox Tea, while the third clinical trial study was yet to start.

According to her, the IHP Detox Tea clinical trial study at CMU/LUTH and NAUTH, approved for Prof Iwu’s company, was only a pilot study, and that means, it was still ongoing, and it is with a small sample size not inadequate to make pronouncement on safety and efficacy.

She insisted that only a NAFDAC approved phase three (3) clinical trial with enough sample size could be used to make such claims on efficacy, after regulatory approval of the study outcomes.

Adeyeye stated that the World Health Organisation (WHO) team and other well-meaning individuals in the research space found the claim of efficacy of the IHP Detox Tea misleading, and that the agency was saddled with the responsibility to deter such inaccurate information.

According to her, preparatory to the WHO visit to Nigeria for the study, NAFDAC officials on inspection of the clinical trial site of the IHP Detox Tea had already found some lapses.

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