HSA warns sellers against falsely claiming TCM products protect against Covid-19

The claims circulating in chat groups on Telegram that the products can protect against Covid-19 are false. PHOTO: BIGGO.SG

SINGAPORE - Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products by Lianhua Qingwen, while listed as Chinese proprietary medicine in Singapore for the relief of cold and flu symptoms, are not approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to treat Covid-19.

The claims circulating on social media and in Telegram chat groups that the products can protect against Covid-19 are false, HSA said on Wednesday (Nov 17).

"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," said the authority.

It added that all herbal products formulated for common cold and flu, including Chinese proprietary medicine, should be used only to manage symptoms such as headache, runny or blocked nose, sore throat and cough.

HSA said the public should not believe unsubstantiated claims or spread unfounded rumours that herbal products can be used to prevent or treat Covid-19.

"Any product that claims to treat Covid-19 must be backed by scientific evidence from controlled clinical studies which shows that such a product is safe and effective against Covid-19," it said, adding that such claims must first be evaluated and the product registered by HSA.

If found guilty of falsely advertising products as preventing or treating Covid-19, sellers can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $5,000, or both.

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