Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has said Madagascar’s COVID cure drug likely a preventive remedy.
Adeyeye said she will not be surprised if the agency’s test on COVID-Organics, the herbal ‘tonic’ from Madagascar, reveals that it is for ‘preventive treatment’ of COVID-19.
Adeyeye, who spoke in a live TV interview on Tuesday, she was made to understand that the herbal remedy had a plant that is called Artemisia as one of its ingredients.
Artemisia, she said, is an antimalarial plant that is also available in Nigeria.
She compared the COVID-Organics to Daraquine, an old medicine usually administered on children years back in Nigeria for prophylaxis (preventive) treatment of malaria.
“Daraquine was an antimalarial that could be used for prophylaxis treatment, meaning, it is for prevention.
“So, I would not be surprised if COVID-Organics is used for prevention. I would not be surprised at all.
“They must have done some preliminary research on it to know how much of it is to be used for treatment and also for prevention.
“It means the dose must be higher, if you are using it in clinical trial setting for treatment.
“So, it cannot be same dose when used for prevention,” she said.
The NAFDAC DG said the agency had yet to receive the drug from the ministry of health for testing, but assured that the agency could conclude its investigations within two weeks of receiving it.
“It (COVID-Organics) is still with the ministry of health and I believe they will be sending it to us very soon.
“We are expecting it and from the time we get it, I think it will take NAFDAC about two weeks to test it.
“We have to check the toxicity and also the microbial content.
“This exercise is time-bound in order to be sure, so it will take about two weeks.
“We would do all the due diligence. That is what we do anyway for any product submitted to us,” Adeyeye said.
She also dismissed the notion that the drug might not be as effective as being touted because Madagascar recently confirmed one death from COVID-19, noting that the death might be due to other factors aside COVID.
“Sometimes, the death may be due to an underlying disease condition. But, if it is one death out of hundreds of people that have COVID-19, I don’t think it is too bad.
“So, I will not call the drug a failure because of that, especially if it is what is working for them,” she said.