By Spy Uganda
Kampala: National Drug Authority(NDA) has dismissed allegations of approving a Covid-19 local herb called COVIDEX, a herbal remedy from PHARMBIOTRAC that is associated with Mbarara University Prof. Patrick Ogwang, a prolific scientist, leading the Pharm-Bio Technology &Traditional Medicine Centre at the Mbarara based University.
According to Prof Ogwang, the herbal remedy cures COVID-19 by killing the virus in the nasopharynx, mouth and esophagus.
The Covidex medicine has made news on the local market amidst excitement and safety concerns among members of the public and health experts as the deadly second wave of Covid-19 has made the general public desperate in search of effective measures to prevent and heal from the deadly disease.
However, in a statement, NDA said it is still gathering more information about the acclaimed Covid-19 cure, Covidex, before directing on its usage.
“The National Drug Authority (NDA) has learnt with concern the promotion and sale of Covidex manufactured by Jena Herbals (U) Limited that claims to prevent and treat Covid-19. NDA informs the public that it has not undertaken any assessment or approved Covidex neither has it received any application from the innovators of the Covidex as required by the National Drug Authority Policy and Act Cap 206,” the statement reads.
“NDA has authorized a number of products from Jena Herbals (U) Limited and they are aware of processes with regard to drug development, clinical trials, authorization, and drug promotion and licensing before production and sale of herbal medicine,” the statement adds.
All manufacturers or innovators of herbal medicine are advised to seek guidance from the authority before the production and sale of products.
Meanwhile, Mbarara university said they host the Pham Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre(PHARMBIOTRAC) one of the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centre for Excellence in Uganda that is fully sponsored by the government to help support the development of herbal products in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Mbarara University said it is through this arrangement that they were able to come up with Covidex.
“The product was considered an excellent potential herbal medicine and we were advised to go ahead and follow the normal procedures of approval according to the procedures on drug development and production in Uganda,” Mbarara University said.
The university however insisted that the product has never been put on the market for sale since it has never been approved.
“Unfortunately, the product was leaked to the market before going through all the required procedures. At MUST we value the safety of the population and wish to follow the right procedures guided by the national regulatory and certification bodies including NDA and UNBS in the country.”
Mbarara University insisted they will have to wait for approval from National Drug Authority and UNBS before putting on market the herbal medicine.
“We would therefore like to request the general public to be patient and allow this product to undergo all the necessary procedures including laboratory tests, animal tests, clinical trials, production agreements, certification, registration and licensing before the product can be put on the market for sale.”