By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Prices of Covidex herbal medicine have skyrocketed following approval from the National Drug Authority, a body mandated to regulate the quality of drugs in the country.
According to the latest, now the drug can go as high as UGX 110,000 from the previous UGX18,000-UGX 25,000 and the prices are expected to continue rising due to the escalating demand.
By Tuesday evening, the price had risen to shs 80,000 if the buyer needed more than 10 bottles.
By Wednesday morning, some of the sellers who only advertised the drug on whatsapp groups said they were selling it at shs 100,000.
The medicine was later advertised on Jumia online shopping with a price tag of 110,000 but later offered a discount of 27% (80,000).
The local herbal medicine has been approved as a supporting treatment for viral infections, including Covid-19.
Addressing journalists at media centre in Kampala Tuesday, the NDA Executive Director, Mr David Nahamya said after various assessments and inspections of the factory manufacturing the herbal medicine, they have approved its use to support treatment of viral infections.
“After engagements, the innovators have removed unsubstantiated claims that the product treats and prevents Covid-19 and revised it to supportive treatment in the management of viral infections. NDA has granted Covidex approval based on initial assessment, published literature and safety studies conducted by the innovator,” Mr Nahamya announced.
The product has been formulated from herbal plants that have been traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of several diseases.
However, Nahamya stressed that the medicine does not cure Covid-19 but it can supplement the medicine being used by medics to treat Covid-19 patients.
The drug authority says it will continue to monitor the safety of Covidex through its post-market surveillance activities.“We call upon the public to immediately report any side effects from the use of this product to our toll-free line 0800101999,”Mr Nahamya added.
The drug, made by Mbarara University scientists led by Prof Patrick Ogwang, had generated debate over its efficacy in treating the dreaded Covid-19.
But to further support the efficacy of the drug for other uses, NDA has advised the manufacturer to conduct random controlled clinical trials which are the highest level of evidence to ascertain any claims of treatment.