NAFDAC disrupts unveiling of alleged COVID-19 drug in Abeokuta

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday disrupted the unveiling of an alleged COVID-19 herbal syrup in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Paul Oni, a herbalist, had concluded arrangements to unveil his syrup at a briefing on Thursday at the Centenary Hall in the Ake axis of Abeokuta.

However, officials of NAFDAC stormed the venue in the company of policemen and officers of the Department of State Services, DSS, disrupting the gathering.

Channels Television reports that Oni was later led to the factory where he planned to produce the anti-COVID syrup.

The factory was subsequently sealed after inspection.

Speaking with reporters after the factory was sealed off, the herbalist lamented the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Oni cried out over what he described as outrageous approval levies by the drug and food agency, adding that he could not afford the cost of approval and clinical trials.

“The normal cost that you will incur in going through the NAFDAC process is about N600,000 which does not include the clinical trials of N1.5 million.

“So, when I saw the cost, I concluded that I should seek help through a press conference. I am sure this herb can help people that have contracted COVID-19,” he said.

Speaking further, Oni said he did not bypass the agency’s procedures, saying the programme was meant to seek partnership and support, as well as raise funds to enable the syrup undergo the proper processes and certification.

Oni said that his medicine was ‘anti-viral and anti-malignant’ and capable of curing COVID-19, alleging that all efforts to reach the Minister of Health for support have yielded no.positive results.

“Maybe through that, people will come to help me. NAFDAC will come to help me and give me a waiver; the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research will hear what I have said about them and they will come and assist me.

“This was the purpose of the press conference; I have not produced the Oxibiotics for sale. I just have a couple of bottles that I want to show NAFDAC and to the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research, as samples,” he stated.

Addressing the reporters after sealing off the place, an official of the agency said the drug’s unveiling was disrupted because the product had not been certified scientifically.

He said, “The producer is a client. He knows the procedures having secured NAFDAC numbers for some of his products on two different occasions.

“But this product, in particular, has not passed through the NAFDAC processes. Besides, he did breach advertisement control policy by advertising the product.”

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