FDA: Approved Chinese drug not for treating Covid-19 | Inquirer News

FDA: Approved Chinese drug not for treating Covid-19

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:38 AM August 14, 2020

BEFORE FDA APPROVAL Misdeclared as vitamins, a shipment of the Chinese drug Lianhua Qingwen was seized by customs officials at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in May. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday clarified that the Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen is not registered in the Philippines as a treatment for COVID-19.

The FDA said it approved Lianhua Qingwen as a traditional medicine and prescription drug despite its use in treating COVID-19 in China, Dr. Eric Domingo, the FDA director-general, said.


“We approved it specifically for the indications stated in its certificate of product registration (CPR),” Domingo said.

Not anti-COVID product

The drug’s CPR for the Philippines indicated that it can help remove heat toxin invasion of the lungs, including symptoms, such as fever, aversion to cold, muscle soreness, stuffy and runny nose.


Local manufacturers cannot claim on the medicine’s label that it is a cure for COVID-19, Domingo said.

Chinese Embassy claim

“They cannot put in the packaging that this is an anti-COVID product. There’s no medicine yet for us labeled as an anti-COVID product,” he stressed.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila earlier said that the drug had been approved for mild and moderate COVID-19 cases in China.

In a statement, the embassy said the Chinese government hoped that the medicine would be able to “contribute to the fight against the spread of COVID-19” in the Philippines.

Domingo, however, said that for the Chinese drug to be used in the Philippines’ health system, it would have to take a lot of processes, including undergoing health assessment.

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