KAMPALA: Covidex Herbal Medicine’s Prices have shot up high just hours after getting clearance from the Uganda National Drug Authority (UNDA) as a treatment for viral infections including Covid-19.
NDA Executive Director, Mr David Nahamya announced on Tuesday while addressing journalists at media centre in Kampala Tuesday that after various assessment and inspection of the factory manufacturing the herbal medicine had been approved its use to support treatment of viral infections which includes coronavirus.
“After engagements, the innovators have removed unsubstantiated claims that the product treats and prevents Covid-19 and revised it to supportive treatment in the management of viral infections. NDA has granted Covidex approval based on initial assessment, published literature, and safety studies conducted by the innovator,” Mr. Nahamya said on Tuesday morning.
However, soon after its approval, the covidex price has skyrocketed up with selected pharmacies and drug shops visited in Bukoto, Ntinda, and Kololo areas selling it at UGX 80,000 from the previous UGX18,000-UGX 25,000. Prices are expected to continue rising.
The drug, developed by Mbarara University Scientists led by Professor Patrick Ogwanga had generated debate over its efficacy in treating the dreaded Covid-19. The product has been formulated from herbal plants that have been traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of several diseases.
However, NDA stressed that the medicine does not cure Covid-19 but can supplement the medicine being used by medics to treat Covid-19 patients.
The drug authority says it will continue to monitor the safety of Covidex through its post-market surveillance activities.“We call upon the public to immediately report any side effects from the use of this product to our toll-free line 0800101999,” Mr. Nahamya added.
To support the efficacy of the drug for other uses further, NDA has advised the manufacturer to conduct random controlled clinical trials that are the highest level of evidence to ascertain any treatment claims.