The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has only given its approval to May and Baker, a Pharmaceutical Company, to produce more Chloroquine as a clinical trial for the cure of coronavirus.
The NAFDAC’s Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.
Mrs Adeyeye, a professor, said the approval for more production of the drug to check the menace of coronavirus followed the recommendation by the United States’ National Agency for Food and Control.
She said the trial was also necessary since coronavirus symptoms were similar to that of malaria; hence, the need to give Chloroquine a trial in the regard.
“NAFDAC has approved Chloroquine as a clinical trial for the treatment of coronavirus.
“Directive has been given to May and Baker (M and B) to manufacture the drug in case it will be needed on emergency in the country.’’
The agency’s statement came amidst claims by the Lagos State government that it had begun treatment for people suffering from chloroquine poisoning.
On Friday, Nigeria’s health minister, Osagie Ehanire, clarified that the country had not approved chloroquine for coronavirus treatment.
The NAFDAC boss said that part of the agency’s responsibilities was to ensure that Nigerians have access to safe and essential medicines.
She added in the statement that pharmaceutical companies with capacity for the production of Chloroquine should seek NAFDAC’s approval so as to make the drug available for public use.
President Donald Trump of the United States of America had on Thursday, March 19, announced that the U.S. had approved the anti-malaria drug, Chloroquine, for use as a treatment against coronavirus.
Mr Trump’s statement was quickly countered by the US Food and Drug Administration.
NAFDAC said in its statement that the World Health Organisation (WHO), however, was yet to announce and approve any treatment for coronavirus pandemic.