After Nigerian Physician’s Call, NAFDAC Approves Chloroquine for Coronavirus
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the production of Chloroquine for clinical trials in tackling COVID-19.
Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the announcement on Friday at NAFDAC Headquarters in Lagos.
PRNigeria had reported that an Abuja-based physician, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed-Danfulani, supported the call by the President of United States, Donald Trump, for American health officials to adopt chloroquine as a potent drug for treating coronavirus patients.
Mr. Ahmad, a renowned Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon, while speaking to PRNigeria, commended the federal and state governments in Nigeria for their proactive initiatives in curtailing the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
He also advised the Ministry of Health and other health-related stakeholders to also consider and test the efficacy of chloroquine on persons already quarantined at some isolation centres and treatment facilities in the country.
Dr. Danfulani, who explained that using chloroquine is safe, said the popular anti-malaria drug does not have adverse side effects.
He said: “It is a common knowledge that chloroquine has potent effects not only on malaria parasite but on other viral diseases and illnesses.”
Dr. Ahmed, however said, the actual ‘therapeutic power’ of the drug can only be ascertained after it has been tested on COVID19 patients, and yield good result.
His words: “It is safe for Nigerian health officials and medical personnel to consider the use of chloroquine on COVID19 suspects. There is nothing wrong or bad in doing. The patients are not going to lose anything, but may perhaps get better since the drug doesn’t have any known side effects.”
Prof. Adeyeye, however, pointed out that NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 but for clinical trials to find treatment for the virus.
“In the case of Chloroquine, it has been demonstrated in the literature and with clinical research which is still ongoing, that Chloroquine is superior to the Placebo.
“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,” Adeyeye said.
She, therefore, called on experts and researchers that are interested in doing a clinical trial on Chloroquine to approach approved outlets, adding that a drug company has been given an approval to produce chloroquine in batches.