Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) to advance herbal products development –  NAFDAC

 

Abiodun OBA


The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) was set up as part of efforts to advance herbal products development for the treatment of #COVID-19.

The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday reiterated that NAFDAC is an agency with the mandate to regulate the conduct of clinical trials in the country.

Adeyeye said that the platform had brought together manufacturers, academics, researchers and relevant stakeholders by bridging the gap created between traditional medicine practitioners and drug manufacturers.

“This collaboration brokered by the agency aims at translating research of herbs into products of commerce with proven safety and efficacy.

“The committee has met three times since inception, on March 15, Sept. 6, 2019 and the most recent one being a virtual meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2020.

“Call for expression of interest for the COVID-19 related medicines was made; several researchers and practitioners have responded and are being guided to submit such medicines to NAFDAC for expedited review.

“The agency continues to encourage all stakeholders to present the products of their research findings and allow these remedies go through internationally recognised process of approval,” she said.

Meanwhile, NAFDAC has explained that the delay in approving some  drugs for treatment of the virus is because of the clinical trials the agency is carrying out on them.

Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC’s Director General therefore, warned Nigerians against taking Chloroquine as treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Nobody should buy Chloroquine and use it. If you have COVID-19, go to a doctor. We have warned Nigerians and shall do that again. Do not take Chloroquine.

“So far, no group or individual has proffered any solution to the treatment or management of the pandemic,” she said.

Adeyeye said the Chinese government carried out lots of trials on Chloroquine before it approved its use for treatment on some COVID-19 patients.

“Clinical trial is not a thing one can handle casually; it requires guidance, supervision and experiment before approval so that it will not cause further damage.

“The trial is to determine whether it is actually working or not, after a sustained observation. NAFDAC is supposed to be the centre of the regulation of clinical trial effects.

“Nobody can do any job of clinical trial in the clinic or anywhere without passing through NAFDAC protocol.

“If such a protocol is found defective or tends to compromise the health of Nigerians, we will not approve it,’’ she said.

The NAFDAC boss further said whatever procedure was coming up for the cure or curtailment of COVID-19 must be submitted for trial to the agency for appropriate processing.

She said the agency must also ensure that all the procedures used in arriving at their experimental processes for the cure or curtailment of COVID-19 must be submitted with relevant proof.

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