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FDA identifies groups selling fake medicines

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday revealed that the agency has identified several groups selling the fake version of an approved Chinese traditional herbal medicine in the country.

FDA Director General Dr. Eric Domingo said the establishments where the fake Lian Hua Qin Weng were sold were mostly located in Metro Manila and in Central Luzon.

“They’re numerous. We’ve been working with NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) and we’ve actually raided several establishments here in Metro Manila and in Region 3,” he said.

Domingo said that the products have already been confiscated as charges against the violators are still pending.

In August, the FDA approved the use of the Lianhua Qingwen but not as a treatment for COVID-19.

In its product registration, the medication was noted as a “traditionally used herbal product [which] helps remove heat-toxin invasion of the lungs, including symptoms such as fever, aversion to cold, muscle soreness, stuffy and runny nose.”

On the other hand, the Chinese Embassy in Manila earlier said that the drug is used in China to treat mild to moderate patients of the coronavirus disease.

Nonetheless, the envoy warned the public to only buy traditional Chinese medicines produced by qualified pharmaceutical manufacturers.

At present, the Philippines has recorded over 296,000 cases of COVID-19 topping the list of countries in the Western Pacific region with the most number of infections while also surpassing China — the epicenter of the disease.