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Government allocates shs3bn for studies into the efficacy of COVIDEX

By Melanie Aanyu

Government has allocated shs3billion for studies into the efficacy of COVIDEX, a herbal solution that helps relieve symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Prof. Patrick Engeu Ogwang, a clinical pharmacologist behind the herbal concoction says that the money wasn’t released directly to his company but to the Ministry of Health which will be spearheading the studies together with an independent board comprising experts from Makerere University and Mbarara University for Science and Technology (MUST).

COVIDEX, which was cleared for emergency use by the National Drug Authority (NDA), Ogwang says has so far gone through tests for acute toxicity and safety in laboratory animals, in addition to the bioavailability of berberine chemical in the drug.

The tests to be carried out in the next phase, he says include determining the effect of the solution on viral load in the nasopharynx, mouth and gastrointestinal tract.

Noting that he had been working on the drug for up to seven years before the COVID-19 pandemic, PProf
Ogwang wants the clinical trial processes for herbal medicines that have been used by the community before actual trials shortened.