The Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board (PMPB) has advised Malawians against taking herbal medicine saying the products are just dietary and nutritional supplements with no medicinal effect.
In a statement, the board has said claims by some individuals and organisations that their herbal products cure, treat, heal or prevent diseases such as HIV/AIDS , cancer, diabetes and high blood are yet to be proven scientifically.
“We wish to advise the general public that these claims are unfounded and have not been proven to have any clinical benefits. None of these claims are supported by scientific evidence.
“The PMPB recognises these herbal products as dietary and nutritional supplements with no medicinal effect and therefore the use of these herbal products should not replace medicines prescribed by trained and certified health practitioners,” Says the statement.
PMPB has urged people with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer not to stop taking prescribed medicines in preference to herbal products.
The poisons board has also warned manufacturers and distributors of the herbal products in the country to avoid provision of misleading promotional information since it is an offense.
According to PMPB, dealers who advertise such herbal products need to consult the board before releasing the adverts to the general public.
“Noncompliance to these requirements is an offense under the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Act of 1988 (Section 52 and 58), and shall lead to disciplinary action and/or subsequent closure of business,” says the statement.