The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has refuted claims by the Dean of School of Basic Medical Sciences of the University of Benin, Prof. Isaiah Ibeh, that he has invented a cure for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Ibeh had on Tuesday announced the breakthrough in an interview with newsmen in Benin.
NAFDAC said it never did any tests on the drug-Deconcotion X (DX) Liquid or Bioclean 11.
NAFDAC Director General, Paul Orhii, told newsmen yesterday in Abuja that the herbal drug said to have been developed by Ibeh has "never been presented to the agency for evaluation of efficacy and safety."
"This bogus claim of efficacy without following the appropriate procedure for drug evaluation is capable of misleading the public, especially those that have HIV/AIDS infections, as there is no known official or scientifically proven cure for HIV/AIDS infection to date," Orhii said.
More than 1.5 million people with HIV are in need of treatment in Nigeria, but therapy is only available for one-third of them.
Orhii said unsubstantiated cure claims are "usually at the expense of innocent citizens who have risked their lives, wasted their time and money in search of the elusive cure for their ailments," adding that "Nigerians deserve better than to be used as Guinea pigs no matter how noble the intention of the researcher."
Ibeh claimed that the project started in 2010 and the drugs have undergone safety and bacteriological analysis, as well as series of tests both in Nigeria and the US.
However, the Provost, College of Medical Sciences of UNIBEN, Prof. Vincent Iyawe, said the university was not in tandem with the claims of Ibeh for now because the institution was not "carried along" in the research, and said protocols for such studies were also not followed.
Iyawe said the clarification was to protect the name of the institution and Ibeh.
However, reacting to the rejection of the breakthrough, Ibeh said he was aware of the procedures and was willing to go through them.
He faulted media reports for underplaying the aspect of his remarks which made clear the work was inconclusive.
"Some of the publications are not taking note of that," he said in a statement in Benin yesterday.
"What we said was that the preliminary results are very encouraging. Some even misspelt sero."
He said he was still working to get "all answers to all questions."