NAFDAC Headquarters, Abuja, FCT

NAFDAC begins laboratory testing of COVID-19 drugs

* 4 Applications, samples received to undergo speedy lab testing ─Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has commenced work on the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) potential remedy drugs submitted by certain Nigerians.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, on a television programme monitored Tuesday, May 19 said that the submissions were made after the regulatory agency had requested expression of interest for the COVID-19-related medicines from researchers and practitioners in the country.

Adeyeye disclosed that four applications on the Coronavirus remedy drugs that have been submitted would undergo “due diligence”.

The NAFDAC Director-General stated that instead of spending a huge amount of money to get ‘COVID Organics’ from Madagascar, she would prefer that such money is spent on herbal remedies manufactured in Nigeria.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health also said Tuesday that the Federal Government was conducting a study on the efficacy of some drugs to treat patients who tested positive to COVID -19 in five centres in the country.

Dr. Ehanire stated: “As I said before, there is a study being done on the efficacy of some drugs by about five centres in our country and hydraulic Chloroquine is one of them. When the result comes out, I will share with you.”

Meanwhile, Adeyeye said: “I made a call for people to submit their applications, and I believe we have about three or four now, and we are going to expedite the processing because it takes a while for us to go through the laboratory testing and what’s not, but I have already given the directive to expedite.

“So, where we are right now is just to make sure that the information submitted is okay and by the end of the week, we may be sending these samples to the lab after we must have gone to inspect the site where the products are made because we don’t want a product that somebody will take and the person will start vomiting.

“So, we will go and inspect the site to make sure that whatever sample we are going to get must have been prepared in an environment that will not make the drug to compromise the health of the user.”

According to her, a remedy must meet specified criteria before it is presented to NAFDAC as a possible cure or drug.

“If somebody says he or she has a remedy for COVID-19, first of all, we want to know the history of the plant or the family the plant belongs to, background information on the botanical characteristics of the plant.

“We will also want to know whether the plant has been used for anything before because sometimes, we use one plant for several diseases and the usage will be different for a particular disease.

“We will also ask for any written or published document about the plant because the plant may not come from Nigeria and it may be available in other climes.

“So, we want to ensure that we get enough information and once that application is submitted with the information, then we will start the process and part of the process involves inspecting where the medicinal product was prepared to be sure that it is not going to compromise the health of the people.”

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