National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday said the herbal product – Verozil, announced by the Ooni of Ife as a cure for COVID-19 is only an immune booster.
It stated that although the product has been listed as an immune booster, it is yet to be found to be efficacious against the virus, as clinical trial evidence is yet to be provided.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on February 25, unveiled an indigenous medicine for the cure and prevention of covid-19.
The drug named Verozil, which is available in capsules, blister packs and liquid, was produced and launched alongside three other indigenous medicines, by Yem-Kem International Group and Ooni Ojaja Global Outreach.
Oba Adeyeye, who spoke during the launch, noted that the potencies of the medicines have been tested and proven by the government and other bodies.
In response, the Director of Registration and Regulatory Affairs of NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjeze, said: “The product Verozil is an herbal product that was listed by the agency as an immune booster.
“Claims of efficacy need to be verified by the conduct of clinical trials and such evidence has not been provided to the agency.”
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, while briefing journalists on the 18th of February 2021, said: “In terms of herbal medicines or normal therapeutics that are being looked into in Nigeria, I believe we have about 30 plus herbal medicine applications that have been submitted to NAFDAC and are going through a listing.
“Approving for listing means this herbal medicine can be taken. The next phase is efficacy – which is the clinical trial. NAFDAC will review the clinical trial protocol.”
“We are giving an expedited review of these medicines because it is not just in submitting and looking at the data.
“Usually it will take us about 120 days to review because we have to first of all read and make sure that they are submitted right. And then, we will have to go and inspect the site.
“When we inspect the site, we get the sample, and then the sample goes to the laboratory, and then back to the registration and regulation directorate.
“So, it has been a little slower because of the various processes the approval process has to be taken. But we are giving an expedited review of 15 working days for the herbal medicines that are compliant.”