The management of the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control, NAFDAC, along with the sister agency of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, have countered the claims of the celebrated Madagascan herbal syrup ‘COVID Organics’, assumed to be effective in the treatment and cure of the novel Coronavirus.
Findings from the two health agencies evaluation and analysis of the herbal syrup revealed that the drug cannot cure COVID-19 as the manufacturer claimed.
In an exclusive interview with the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, she said COVID Organics is made of 72% Artemisia annua, while the other 38% active ingredient was not revealed by the manufacturer.
Adeyeye said: “NAFDAC had submitted full report on COVID Organics to the Minister of Health. We were able to identify artemisia annua as the major ingredient (72%) in the formula. The other 38% was not declared by the manufacturer.
“The agency got a blank information from the manufacturer about the product. That usually doesn’t happen.
“The product is not toxic, but failed Total Combined Yeast and Molds Count. This could be due to factors such as the high moisture content which the test reports indicated that it is close to 15% Max, poor GMP, poor Agricultural Practice etc.”, she disclosed.
NIPRD’s investigation into the effectiveness of the herbal syrup for the cure of COVID-19 also affirmed NAFDAC’s findings on it, as it does not show any proof that it can cure COVID-19.
The agency, through a statement report on its evaluation of COVID Organics for the cure of Coronavirus said it majorly contains Artemisia annua, while it’s dose-dependently reduced general febrile response, the effect was not sustained and was less than for indomethacin.
Speaking on the agency’s result on the syrup, Director General of NIPRD, Dr Obi Adigwe , said their analysis gave sufficient information on the product, which surpassed whatever the manufacturer might have given, as he accused the producer for hiding details about the product.
He said: Well, I cannot tell you what they have done. I can only tell you what we have done here. The analysis we gave in our report is more detail than anything that had come from their country.
“They are hiding the analysis of their own product. If you go online, you cannot get the level of analysis that we gave.
“They are hiding a lot of things and I think it is possible that they know that they don’t have strong science backing up their claim. But our own analysis does not show any proof that it can cure COVID-19”, Adigwe revealed.
The health agency further revealed its findings on the herbal drug, saying: “Safety studies show that COVID Organics (CVO) products do not alter the normal physiology of the animals.
“CVO caused a significant decrease in the platelet counts although the values are within the physiological range for Wistar rats”.
Although it noted that the herbal drug reduced cough frequency with the maximum dose tested producing an effect equivalent to that produced by the centrally acting cough-suppressant, dihydrocodeine, it maintained that further investigation is needed to prove its effect on tracheal mucus expectoration.