Philippines OKs Chinese drug Lianhua Qingwen, but not for COVID-19 treatment

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a traditional Chinese medicine called Lianhua Qingwen, but not for COVID-19 treatment.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo told CNN Philippines on Wednesday that the drug should only be used as indicated in the Certificate of Product Registration, a copy of which was released by the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

It states that the Lianhua Qingwen capsule got the government’s greenlight on August 7 as a “traditionally used herbal product [that] helps remove heat-toxin invasion of the lungs, including symptoms such as fever, aversion to cold, muscle soreness, stuffy and runny nose.”

In China, Lianhua Qingwen is used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

“It is our sincere hope that its entrance into the Philippine market will contribute to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in this country and help the patients with mild and moderate symptoms recover,” the Chinese Embassy said in its statement.

It also welcomed the FDA’s move as an “important progress” in the entry of traditional Chinese medicines in the local market, noting that the Lianhua Qingwen is produced by one of its renowned manufacturers, Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

The embassy advised consumers to purchase products only from qualified pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The coronavirus disease originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019, but the East Asian country now has fewer infections than 29 other states, including the Philippines. China has recorded 89,020 COVID-19 cases while the Philippines has more than 143,000.