Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Honourable Minister of State for Health. Photo: File

Nigeria assesses 19 firms for COVID-19 drugs production

* 3 herbal manufacturing companies to be shortlisted for further evaluation, support ─Dr. Mamora

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the continued attempt to find effective and durable indigenous cures for the devastating Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health says it is screening 19 local firms for the production of herbal drugs that possibly can treat or cure COVID-19 epidemic.

Senator (Dr.) Olorunnimbe Mamora, Honourable Minister of State for Health, was said to have confirmed this in a chat Monday, May 25.

Earlier, the participating firms had made several claims ranging from the outright cure for COVID-19 to the treatment of the symptoms.

Report says the 19 firms had met with the leadership of the Ministry and the Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in this regard.

They were urged to submit their samples to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control out of which three would be picked and recommended for funding.

According to Dr. Mamora, a meeting was held with the leadership of NAFDAC, National Institute for Medical Research, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and other relevant stakeholders.

He disclosed that the ministry requested the interested herbal manufacturers to tell the government what their challenges were.

Some of them complained about funding as well as possible theft of their patent, and concerns over how to identify patients for trial were also discussed, he stated.

The Minister of State for Health said: “We met with about 19 of them to know what remedies they have in place and to know how we can put them through the processes from listing the medicine to clinical trial, and then we wanted to know the challenges they were having.

“They said those challenges essentially were funding, and they needed assurances that their intellectual property would be protected and their product or remedy would not be stolen or repackaged by someone else.

He further disclosed that “the other challenge is how to go about the clinical trial. Part of that is how they source for patients because they will need patients who are volunteers.

“These patients have to be volunteers since it is a new product that will be put out there.

“So, we are now in the process of screening the 19 of them and we will shortlist some of them.

“About three will be shortlisted for further assessment, and we will recommend support for them in order to fast-track the process of determining their efficacy.”

When asked, Mamora stated that it is too soon to say if the drugs are for the outright cure of COVID-19 or just for the treatment, as discussions are still ongoing.

NAFDAC would test the herbal solutions to see if they are safe for human consumption, he stressed.

Kindly Share This Story