COVID-19: NAFDAC approves chloroquine production for clinical trials

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has ordered chloroquine be produced for clinical trials on coronavirus, the Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has revealed.

According to a statement obtained by Newsdiaryonline on Monday, the decision to produce chloroquine for trials is because the drug is being used in other countries to treat Coronavirus.

“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 read.

According to Adeyeye, Nigeria stopped using chloroquine as antimalarial because of malaria’s resistance to it, but said a manufacturing company had been approached for emergency stock.

“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 further stated, while advising the public not use chloroquine without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician for treatment of COVID-19.