The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it will not allow the use of a purported coronavirus cure developed in Madagascar until the efficacy of the drug is proven.

According to the FDA, there is still little scientific evidence backing the potency of the medicine to cure COVID-19. Madagascar has been touting a herbal medicine product it says can cure COVID-19.

That country’s president, Andry Rajoelina has been actively promoting the plant-based tonic, COVID-Organics. So far, countries such as Congo, Tanzania, and Guinea-Bissau have received packs of the product.

But the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana’s Food and Drug Authority (FDA) Mimi Delese Darko in an interview on Citi TV‘s The Point of View program said Ghana needs more evidence before accepting the product as COVID-19 cure.

“I know it contains the Artemisia plant which is the same thing that we have in some of the antimalarials… Yes, we’ve read about it but what we also look out for is evidence so you cannot just put a drug or a herbal product on the market without evidence and say it treats a disease. So far as we’ve seen, it was tested in about 20 people over three weeks and come out with the claim of cure. There is no published study and what we would say is that we will need more evidence,” she said.

The product has attracted continental interest with the African Union (AU) also demanding to know the technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of the supposed herbal remedy.

The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E Amira El-Fadil convened a meeting with the Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Madagascar, Mr. Eric Randrianantoandro on 30th April to get further information about the product.

The AU said after receiving the data, it will review it through the African Center for Disease Council in accordance with global technical and ethical norms.