Minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, says Nano silver, the experimental trial drug imported into the country on Thursday, will not be administered to Ebola patients because it did not meet required standards.
The Lagos state government issued a similar denial earlier.
Addressing journalists at the Federal Nuero Psychiatric hospital at Yaba, Lagos on Saturday, Chukwu said other trial drugs were undergoing evaluation, and they could be used should they be found suitable eventually. He assured the public that the government would do everything possible to effectively contain the disease.
“You will recall that last Thursday, I announced that we were ready to deploy an experimental drug, Nano Silver, if it was cleared by the national health research committee,” he said.
“Although, the drug had since last Thursday been made available to the emergency operation in Lagos, it had not been administered to any patient, because we were awaiting clearance from the national health research ethics committee.
“I regret to inform you that the drug did not meet the requirements of the national health research ethic code. Accordingly, approval for its use was withheld.
“I wish to inform you that other candidate drugs are currently being evaluated by the Treatment Research Group for EVD. As soon as any of the experimental drug is cleared and made available, we shall include it in the treatment regimen subject to the informed consent of the patient.”
Responding to TheCable’s question on why the government chose Nano Silver among other Ebola trial dugs, the minister said the drug was recommended by some experts and that government remained open to any solution aimed at tackling the virus.
“Nano silver was recommended to the government and we did not just accept it but subjected it to evaluation,” he said.