A post on Facebook announces that the National Agency For Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the PaxHerbal-remedy as a treatment for COVID-19.
The claim that NAFDAC has approved Pax Herbals as a treatment for COVID-19 is false. Not only did the agency refute the report, but other evidence also proves the claim to be misleading.
Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, what appears to pull tremendous public interest are matters that pertain to the cure of the disease. One of such stories is a post on Facebook which claims that NAFDAC has authorized the use of PAXHERBAL CUGZIN as a COVID-19 remedy.
Since then, the post which referenced fadakay.org as its source has garnered over 336 likes, 104 comments, and 156 shares on Facebook.
Elsewhere, many question the integrity of the post as well as of NAFDAC’s involvement, thus necessitating Dubawa’s scrutiny of the claim.
The DG, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye outrightly disclaimed the information via a tweet, which she described as “wrong” and “inaccurate.”
She further explained in a broadcast interview with the National Television Authority (NTA) that:
“Until a clinical study is done in a scientific manner, no herbal medicine manufacturer can claim effectiveness to treat #COVID19 associated symptoms.”
Regarding the claim in question, she clarified that:
“Paxherbal applied for Listing of Pax Herbal Cugzin capsule 290mg which was approved by NAFDAC and Listed as “Safe to use”. (Listing status involves the review of the composition of the formulation, the labelling of the product, the process of manufacture and “Safe to use” testing.)
The applicant claimed that it is an immune booster and an anti-infective.
However, as part of the labelling of the product, and in line with global practice, a Disclaimer is on the product label which clearly states that the claims have not been evaluated by NAFDAC.
Therefore the statements circulating on social media that NAFDAC has approved Paxherbal products “specifically for treating symptoms associated with Coronavirus” is WRONG and INACCURATE.
Until a clinical study is done in a scientific manner, no herbal medicine manufacturer can claim effectiveness to treat COVID19 associated symptoms.”
To further have a balanced analysis, Dubawa telephoned manufacturers of Paxherbal regarding the claim. The Administrative Assistant, Olayioye, Yinka, said the product was never approved as a cure for COVID-19.
Mr Yinka further confirmed that the statement made by the NAFDAC DG is valid; adding that the claim is a phoney report that provoked controversy between the public, Paxherbal, and NAFDAC.
Although the post traced its source to fadakay.org, Dubawa uncovered that it doctored the information, ejecting vital information from the fadakay.org report to exaggerate the news. The following paragraph was excluded by the Facebook post:
It would seem that the post opted to misinform the public by falsely quoting Paxherbal to have said: “the drug went through animal testing and clinical trials before they got approval to begin distribution.”
While Pax Herbals obtained a NAFDAC number for CUGZIN (CVD PLUS) as an immune booster, NAFDAC, however, did not authorise its use as a cure for the novel virus. Moreover, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control has not officially approved any medications or remedies as a treatment for COVID-19.