The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development says the scientific evaluation of the drug sent to Nigeria by the government of Madagascar for the treatment of COVID-19 revealed that the drug cannot cure the disease.
The drug known as ‘COVID Organics’ was brought to Nigeria in May and was sent to the relevant authorities for evaluation.
NIPRD said the drug, which contains mainly Artemisia annua, reduces frequency of cough with maximum dose, yielding an effect equivalent to that produced by the centrally acting cough-suppressant, dihydrocodeine.
The institute, however, said it would further investigate the drug’s effect on tracheal mucus expectoration.
The findings read in part, “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.”
“CVO reduced cough frequency with the maximum dose tested producing an effect equivalent to that produced by the centrally acting cough-suppressant, dihydrocodeine.”
Confirming the report to journalists on Sunday, the Director-General of NIPRD, Obi Adigwe, said the Madagascan authorities were hiding the analysis of the product.
He said this was most likely so because there was no scientific backing to the claim of the efficacy of the drug.
Adigwe 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.”
The efficacy of the drug has come under question following the rise in the number of COVID-19 deaths in Madagascar in recent time.
Madagascar authorities have imposed a total lockdown some parts of the country due to the rise in coronavirus cases.
The country has confirmed 2,941 coronavirus cases, with 32 deaths and 1,108 recoveries, according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Credit: Punch News