Vietnam’s food safety agency warns against unlicensed post-COVID-19 treatment drug

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Vietnam’s food safety agency warns against unlicensed post-COVID-19 treatment drug

This image shows Kmuravir®, which has not been licensed for circulation in Vietnam but has been put for sale on the market as a medicine for treatment of post-COVID-19 conditions. Photo: VFA

Vietnam’s food safety authorities have warned that Kmuravir®, which is claimed as a “health protection food” and is illegally put up for sale as pills for post COVID-19 syndrome treatment, has yet to be licensed by the Ministry of Health for circulation in Vietnam.

In its warning released recently, the Vietnam Food Safety Authority (VFA), under the Health Ministry, said that some organizations and individuals have launched onto the market a number of unlicensed and non-origin products allegedly for use in treatment of post COVID-19 conditions.

Such illegal medication has been launched by those who want to gain illegal profits by taking unfair advantage of the increasing demand for post-COVID-19 medicine in the country, the VFA said.

Among those unauthorized medicines is Kmuravir®, which has been advertised as “health protection food” on its label but has no name or address of the manufacturer or trader.

This product, in form of hard capsules, has the self-declared product announcement number 018/2021/CB-KMURA on the container.

The product’s indication is said to prevent respiratory problems caused by bacteria and viruses such as acute respiratory infections.

It is also said to help strengthen the body’s immune system and reduce cough, phlegm, sore throat, and help regain taste.

Notably, the warning notice “not for sale” is affixed on the label but such products have still been available on the market.

The VFA affirmed that the presentation of such information on its packaging violates regulations on product labeling and infringes the Vietnamese Law on Pharmacy.

The circulation and sale of this unregistered and unlicensed product is a serious violation of the laws of Vietnam, the VFA stated.

Under relevant provisions in the Vietnamese Law on Food Safety, a product announcement for any health protection food must be registered with the VFA before it can be licensed by the health ministry for circulation on the market.

To protect consumers, the agency warns against the purchase and use of this product.

Before buying a health food product, people should carefully read the label, which must show the instruction: “This food is not a medicine and does not have the effect of replacing medicine,” the VFA advised.

Consumers should also carefully read the ingredients and effects of the product to ensure that it is safe for use, the agency added.

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