The Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), which is the manufacturer of the COVIDEX herbal medicine that claims to prevent and stop COVID-19, clarified that the COVIDEX herbal medicine was disclosed in the market before being approved by the National Drug Authority (NDA).
Yesterday Monday, the NDA released a statement saying it had not approved the drug for public use.
“The NDA advises the general public that it has not undertaken any evaluation or approved COVIDEX, and that it has not received any request from the innovator of COVIDEX as required by National Drug Policy and Act cap 206” , said the NDA.
In response, Professor Ogwang Patrick Engeu, lecturer at MUST, informed the public that COVIDEX, developed by him, has only undergone laboratory tests by him and his team of students.
“Clinical trials that approve the efficacy of a drug have yet to be completed due to funding limitations. I met with the NDA and agreed that no treatment claims be made on the product until the results of clinical trials are obtained, ”he said.
This left the question of how the drug found its way to the market.
MUST Vice-Chancellor Professor Celestino Obua explained that COVIDEX herbal medicine was released in the market before its approval.
The University is home to Pharm – Center for Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine (PHARMBIOTRAC), which is sponsored by the government with a loan from the World Bank to promote herbal and natural products technologies in Africa.
It has also secured more government funding through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) to support the development of herbal medicine in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda.
Professor Obua explained that COVIDEX is another product under development through PHARMBIOTRAC, adding that a presentation of the product has been made to donors.
“The product was considered to have excellent herbal medicinal potential and we were advised to go ahead and follow normal approval procedures in accordance with approved procedures on drug development and production in Uganda. .
“Unfortunately, the product leaked to the market before going through all the required procedures. Like MUST, we value the safety of the population and wish to follow the correct procedures guided by the national regulatory and certification bodies (NDA, UNBS, etc.) in the country ”, said Professor Obua.
“So we would like to ask the general public to be patient and allow this product to undergo all necessary procedures, for example lab tests, clinical trials, production agreement, certification, regulations and licensing before that the product cannot be put on the market for sale, ”he said. added.
Professor Obua has warned any third party interested in the production, distribution or sale of COVIDEX herbal medicines without prejudice to refrain from negotiating any agreement with any individual, other University of Science and Technology of Mbarara (MUST) who holds the intellectual property rights for the product.