Following the arrival of the Madagascar herbal cure for COVID-19 in Nigeria on Saturday, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has promised to fast-track the laboratory examination of the drug, named Covid Organics.
The agency, which regulates and controls the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, chemicals and detergents, noted that the product would be subjected to the normal procedure but that the process would be fast-tracked.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had while receiving the samples of the product, also known as CVO, from the visiting President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Embalo, at the presidential villa noted that he would first “listen to science” before allowing the product or any new medicines to be used in Nigeria.
The President told his guest that the relevant regulatory institutions in the country would need to endorse the product before it could be used by Nigerians.
“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” Buhari told Embalo.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Sunday PUNCH on Saturday, NAFDAC’s Director of Public Relations, Dr Abubakar Jimoh, who spoke on behalf of the agency’s director-general, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, noted that the agency would prioritise the laboratory examination of the product once it received it from the authorities.
He said, “When the drug arrives, it will go to the Minister of Health who will in turn hand it over to NAFDAC through the PTF. It is after that we would start our laboratory examination. It will be subjected to the normal procedure.
“We would expedite action on this because everyone is anxiously waiting for the result. We would speed it up but it will still have to go through the normal laboratory analysis and medical evaluation.