Chinese drug 'Lianhua Qingwen' still a prescription medicine -- FDA chief | Inquirer News

Chinese drug ‘Lianhua Qingwen’ still a prescription medicine — FDA chief

/ 12:57 PM April 01, 2021
Eric Domingo

Health Usec. Eric Domingo of the Food and Drug Administration. file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese drug Lianhua Qingwen is still considered a prescription medicine, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo clarified Thursday.

“It is still a prescription medicine. But a regular doctor’s prescription will do. No more S2 prescription needed,” Domingo told in a text message.


In an earlier House health committee briefing, Domingo said the Chinese medicine was recently delisted by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as a dangerous substance.

This means the patient does not need an S2 prescription to purchase it.


An S2 prescription can only be issued by a physician with an S2 license from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Lianhua Qingwen capsules, according to the DDB, contain ephedra, which is a “plant-based substance used in traditional Chinese medicine” and is “classified as a dangerous drug” under the country’s law.

But the DDB, last February, delisted the traditional medicine as a dangerous drug following a discussion and evaluation of presentations made during a public hearing conducted by the board’s Committee of Reclassification on the matter.

The removal of Lianhua from the list of dangerous drugs will only be for a period of one year, after which, the Committee of Reclassification will be tasked to evaluate whether to shorten or extend the said period.

It was in August 2020 when the FDA approved Lianhua as a traditional Chinese medicine in the country but clarified that it is not registered as a COVID-19 medication in the country.

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