HSA issues warning over ‘unfounded rumours’ that herbal products can treat, prevent Covid-19
SINGAPORE — Lianhua Qingwen traditional Chinese medicine products are not approved to treat or alleviate symptoms of Covid-19, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in an advisory on Wednesday (Nov 17).
SINGAPORE — Lianhua Qingwen traditional Chinese medicine products are not approved to treat or alleviate symptoms of Covid-19, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in an advisory on Wednesday (Nov 17).
The authority stated that it is aware of claims circulating on social media and in Telegram chat groups that some Lianhua Qingwen herbal products can be used to prevent or treat the coronavirus.
HSA said some Lianhua Qingwen products are listed as Chinese proprietary medicines in Singapore for the relief of cold and flu symptoms.
The authority had approved them based on the documented uses of the ingredients present in the products.
“They are not approved by HSA to treat or alleviate symptoms of Covid-19, and such claims are disallowed,” said HSA in the advisory.
“We strongly advise members of the public not to fall prey to unsubstantiated claims or spread unfounded rumours that herbal products can be used to prevent or treat Covid-19,” HSA said.
All herbal products formulated for common cold and flu, including Chinese proprietary medicines, should only be used to manage symptoms such as headache, runny or blocked nose, sore throat and cough.
“To date, there is no scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials to show that any herbal product, including Lianhua Qingwen products, can be used to prevent or treat Covid-19,” the HSA advisory added.
HSA said that it requires any product that claims to treat Covid-19 to have scientific evidence from controlled clinical studies to substantiate claims that such a product is safe and effective against the coronavirus.
The product must also first be submitted to HSA for assessment and be registered before it can be supplied locally.
HSA reminded dealers and sellers not to make any false or misleading claims that the products they are selling can prevent, protect against or treat diseases such as Covid-19.
Those found guilty of making such false or misleading claims in their marketing can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $5,000 or both.