The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has revealed that it will be providing the accelerated lab analysis for the Madagascar herbal cure for COVID-19 which arrived Nigeria on Saturday.
It would be recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari received the Madagascar drug samples named Covid Organics from the visiting President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Embalo, at the presidential villa in Abuja on Saturday.
Buhari noted 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,” the President noted.
Meanwhile, NAFDAC has declared that the product would be subjected to the normal testing procedure but that the process would be fast-tracked.
NAFDAC’s Director of Public Relations, Dr Abubakar Jimoh made the assertion in an interview on Saturday.
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.
“Unlike the orthodox medicine, with the herbal medicine, it is given linctus status, it is not given full registration and that means it has a life span of two years, unlike normal drug that has a life span of five years. So, this is what will be applicable to the Madagascar drug. We would ensure that the claims being made are true.”
Jimoh added during the interview with Punch that the laboratory examination normally took three months, but with the situation at hand, this particular process will be fast-tracked without compromising standards.
He said, “The normal mandatory procedure is three months, but under this emergency, we would give it a top priority to come out with urgent results. In the process of the evaluation, if NAFDAC needs to get in touch with the manufacturers we will. It all depends on the analysis in the lab.
“This kind of drug does not go through a clinical trial at this stage; it is only when it wants to go through registration that it will be subjected to clinical trial. We are only going to determine its safety and efficacy now.”