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Iwu faults NAFDAC, says COVID-19 herbal cure had undergone clinical trial

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Maurice Iwu

Reacting to Sunday’s submission of the Director General National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) that no local herbal product had undergone clinical trial to pass for COVID-19 cure, foremost pharmacognocist and advocate of alternate medicine, Prof. has faulted the claim.

In a chat yesterday with The Guardian, Iwu, who is also Chairman of Bioresources Development Group (BDG), stated: “The consultant is making unsubstantiated and absolutely wrong statements. The Intercedd Health Products (IHP) has NAFDAC-approved clinical trials on COVID-19 at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital.

“It is also unimaginable that the DG would have authorised his (her) statement that condemned the use of onions solely on the basis of its repugnant smell. It is indeed unfortunate that some people believe that the only way to remain relevant is to denigrate anything Nigerian.”

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The NAFDAC boss, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, had equally maintained that there was no single herbal cure for the disease yet, noting that the available traditional medicines could only ease symptoms and increase survival odds.

She had also warned Nigerian researchers and trado-medical practitioners against parading unverified and unapproved products as cures for the virus.

Iwu, in substantiating his stance, made available a correspondence from the regulatory agency to IHP titled, “NAFDAC Clinical Trial Authorisation-IHP Detox Herbal Tea Trial.” IHP is a subsidiary of BDG.

The INEC ex-chairman had presented IHP detox herbal tea to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and his Science and Technology counterpart, Dr. Ogonnaya Onu, as possible cure for the pandemic.

Director, Drug Evaluation and Research, NAFDAC, on behalf of the DG, signed the letter dated August 17, 2020 and addressed to “Prof. Elijah Skomba, Federal Ministry of Health, No. 1 JB Leton Close, off Dan Isokrari Close, Off Abdullahi Ibrahim Crescent, Opposite Haribina Hotel, Utako District, Abuja. Attention: Dr. Edamisan Olusoji Temiye, Principal Investigator.”

The letter reads in part: “This is to inform you that NAFDAC has authorised the conduct of clinical trial titled, ‘The Efficacy and Safety of IHP Detox Tea (a Special Blend of Andrographis paniculata, Garcinia kola and Psidium guajava for the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Pilot Randomised Clinical Trial’, with Protocol number 01, Version OI and dated May, 2020.

“The approved site and Principal Investigator is College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos.

“This approval is valid for one year from the date of issue. NOTE: This authorisation is subject to full compliance with NAFDAC Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines and the Agency reserves the right to revoke, suspend or terminate the trial.”

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