NAFDAC Sticks to Hydroxychloroquine Clinical Trials, NIMR Cautions on Hasty Move


In spite of the temporary suspension placed on the Solidarity clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine and Azithromycin combination, by the World Health Organisation, WHO, on Monday, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has said no going back on the already commenced trials in Lagos.

NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, who made the disclosure on Tuesday during a programme on Television Continental, said there are proven records that hydroxychloroquine had been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, especially those at the “mild stage” of the virus.

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Meanwhile, the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako has cautioned on hasty move on the WHO's decision in the country, saying it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons on patients outcome.

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Adeyeye stated that there is data to prove that hydroxychloroquine worked for many COVID-19 patients.

“ Therefore, we would continue our own clinical trials in Nigeria. Hydroxychloroquine has been proved to work at a mild stage. So the potency depends on the severity of the disease in the patient’s body,” she said.

Explaining on the progress of the trials in Lagos, she said it depends on the cooperation and speed of work among healthcare team and researchers.

“ If medical doctors, research scientists, pharmacists, herbal experts work together, we should conclude the clinical trials in 3-4 months. The narrative might change afterwards but for now, we believe in hydroxychloroquine.”

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Prof. Salako expressed concerns on the import of the apex health institution’s decision on Nigeria, saying impacts must be well considered.

“I believe there is need for caution in this situation since the issue raises a pertinent concern of safety.

“However chloroquine has been used in Nigeria and Africa generally without much ado even in terms of safety so I guess Africans may not respond to its use as Caucasian’s did”, Salako told Pharmanewsonline.

The WHO had said on Monday that it had “temporarily” suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 over safety issues.


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