A group of researchers in Edo state say they have produced a herbal drug “specifically for the treatment of COVID-19”.
Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories said the drug, named CVD PLUS, contains herbs and other constituents that “can stimulate antibody production against coronavirus related diseases”.
“Paxherbals has developed a novel drug, called CVD PLUS, specifically for the treatment of COVID-19. Pax CVD PLUS contains herbs and active phytoconstituents with documented scientific formulations of Paxherbals over the past 25 years for the treatment of hepatitis C, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, bronchitis, pneumonia and malaria,” the laboratory said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Some bio-active constituents of CVD PLUS are potential antiviral agents and immunomodulatory agents that can stimulate antibody production against coronavirus related diseases.”
The laboratory, which claims it was established in 1996 “for the promotion, development and proper utilisation of African medicine,” said representatives of some federal government agencies including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) were involved in the process of the production.
However, Ese Osezuwa, a communications officer with the laboratory, told TheCable on Thursday the drug has not been tested and proven to cure any COVID-19 patient.
TheCable reached out to NAFDAC and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), which were said to have been informed about the drug, but both organisations said no herbal drug has been approved for COVID-19.
NIMR, however, said it is currently studying ‘CDV PLUS’ in one of its centres.
Eenfaa Bob-Manuel, the media director at the ministry of health, also told TheCable, the ministry has not been informed of such a drug.
Pax Herbal, in the statement signed on its behalf by Anselem Adodo, added that plant-based drugs, “whether crude or refined, are seemingly the best alternative approach to the COVID-19 menace”.
There is, however, no scientific evidence to the claim. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for instance, considers herbal supplements as foods, not drugs, meaning they are not subject to the same testing and manufacturing standards and regulations as drugs.
Also, the World Health Organisation cautions against “self-medication with any medicines” as well as unapproved drugs as a prevention or cure for COVID-19.
The federal government had earlier said it may ask Madagascar to send Nigeria “herbal solutions” to treat COVID-19 complications, after the country launched a herbal medicine which it says cures the disease, though the country’s national medical academy has cast doubt on the drug.
The NCDC and WHO strongly warn against the use of unapproved drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.
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