With the rising claims of the efficacy of herbal medicines across the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it can only guarantee the safety of such drugs but not their efficacy.
Mr Abubakar Jimoh, the Deputy Director of the Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the agency, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
NAN reports that some producers of herbal medicines claim that such medicines cure different types of diseases with little or no side effect.
Jimoh said that the agency scrutinised the quality of herbal preparations as was done for orthodox drugs.
``We check the quality of herbal preparations just like we check the orthodox drugs; it’s the same thing; but the little different is that all the herbal products that we have registered we can only vouch for their safety, but we cannot vouch for their efficacy.
“There is a different between efficacy and safety; all these herbal products that have been registered by NAFDAC we can vouch for their safety.
``In other words, if you take them they are not going to cause any harm to you.
``Rather, some of them - if it is for the curative purpose that they are made for - will tend to cure the disease.”
Jimoh gave the assurance that the agency would strengthen its collaboration with the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to ensure the efficacy of any herbal medicine that would be registered by NAFDAC.
He added that NIPRD had the capacity to determine the efficacy of any herbal medicine.
According to him, herbal medicine producers who register with NAFDAC are expected to renew their registration every two years.
He advised the public to always check for NAFDAC registration number on the medicines before buying any medicine.