PH Approves Traditional Chinese Medicine Capsule For COVID-19

Lianhua Qingwen’s popular – and controversial – capsule is part of China’s standard treatment for patients with mild coronavirus

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Lianhua Qingwen Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) capsule widely used in China as part of its standard coronavirus treatments.

The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines announcement this Wednesday, August 12, hailing it as “significant progress in the entry of TCM products into the Philippine market”.

FDA chief executive Eric Domingo also confirmed Lianhua Qingwen’s approval in a text message to Rappler on Wednesday afternoon.

What is the treatement ?

The Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen is one of the 3 treatments that are part of the standard therapy for patients with mild and moderate coronavirus. The capsule is extremely popular and controversial because it has its roots in a prescription that dates back to classical medical texts written during the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The capsule was developed earlier in 2003 to treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and extracts the essence of 13 herbs.

Although it has been included in the standard treatment of coronavirus patients in China, it faces hurdles in the West where scientists are raising questions about the evidence and effectiveness of traditional medicine.

What the FDA wants you to know

The Chinese registered Lianhua Qingwen capsule that has been approved is expected to have FDA labeling requirements written in English, Domingo said.

The FDA had previously issued a notice in may warning against purchasing unregistered versions of the Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang capsule that had different labels. Domingo said this version of the capsule remains unregistered to date, which means the FDA cannot guarantee its quality and safety.

The Chinese Embassy has also advised the public to purchase and consume only genuine traditional Chinese medicines produced by qualified pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Outside of the Philippines, the Lianhua Qingwen capsule has been approved in Hong Kong and Macao, Brazil, Indonesia, Canada, Mozambique, Romania, Thailand, Ecuador, Singapore and Laos. – Rappler.com


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