By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the production of Chloroquine for clinical trials, but not as a cure for the coronavirus.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Mrs Mojisola Adeyeye, made this announcement on Friday at the NAFDAC headquarters in Lagos.
Worldwide, the race to find a vaccine for coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is ongoing. Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced that his administration has approved the use of the drug to combat the disease, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later countered him.
The FDA then clarified in a subsequent statement that there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19 and said doctors can prescribe chloroquine “off-label,” for unapproved uses, to treat COVID-19 patients.
The FDA said it was working with government and academic entities that are investigating whether chloroquine can be used “to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease.”
Since his announcement, the demand for the anti-malaria drug, which has side effects on consumers, has been on the rise, with price of the product in Nigeria going up.
Speaking in Lagos today, Mrs Adeyeye said, “NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine as a product that has can be used for Coronavirus because there is no submission to us for registration but because it is under clinical trials, NAFDAC approves medicines meant for clinical trials.
“Therefore, the medicine is being approved just for the clinical trials.”
The NAFDAC DG further called on experts and researchers that are interested in doing a clinical trial on Chloroquine to approach approved outlets.
“Right now, we have asked one company to make a batch of Chloroquine for the purpose of clinical trial,” Mrs Adeyeye added.
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