The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, says the agency has ordered the manufacturing of Chloroquine for emergency stock for the clinical trial treatment of Coronavirus.
In a statement released this morning, Professor Adeyeye said the old antimalarial is now being repurposed for the clinical trial treatment of novel Coronavirus.
According to her, some countries have started the use of Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. Adeyeye said the drug was used in China and was discovered to be efficient and safe in the treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia.
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“Other researchers in France, US have used the drug for the clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 and they reported effectiveness of the drug. Lagos State will be starting a clinical trial on chloroquine to evaluate the effectiveness.
“In a very recent publication, chloroquine was reported in a press briefing by the State Council of China, indicating that chloroquine phosphate had demonstrated marked efficacy and acceptable safety in treating COVID-19 associated pneumonia in a multi-center clinical trials conducted in China.
“The study involved 10 hospitals in Wuhan, Jingzhou, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Ningbo, and 100 patients. The investigators reported that Chloroquine phosphate is superior to the control in inhibiting the pneumonia associated with COVID-19, and shortening the course of the disease. “ the statement in part read
The statement further reads:
“About four weeks ago, I approached a local manufacturing company (May and Baker), a member of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (PMGMAN), whose flagship product in the past was chloroquine to make a batch of the drug for emergency stock.
“The company had NAFDAC approval for the production of the drug as antimalarial many years ago before the discontinuation.
“The Managing Director expressed possible difficulty in getting the API due to the fact that the drug has been discontinued. He called shortly after that he was able to get the API and was asked to manufacture a batch for emergency stock just in case more people become exposed and infected with the virus. The batch has been manufactured and the company plans to make more batches if needed.”
She appealed to Nigerians not to use Chloroquine without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician for treatment of COVID-19. According to her, side effects from the use of Chloroquine includes gastrointestinal upset, blurred vision, headache and pruritus (itching) among others.