Company denies reports that Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen was rejected entry to Canada

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/11 20:29:35

Two employees in a TCM store in Dongyang, East China's Zhejiang Province, measure herbal medicine on October 31, 2018. File Photo: VCG

There is no aristolochic acid found in Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen, said Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co, the company that produces the capsule, on Monday. It denied media reports that the medicine was rejected entry in Canada due to such a component. 

The company said its Lianhua Qingwen product was legally registered under the Natural Health Products Regulations in Canada in 2012 when it entered the market. The product has never been denied entry into the North American country as some media reports claimed, the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday.

Media claims that Lianhua Qingwen contains aristolochic acid mainly arise from a component of the medicine, cordate houttuynia, which has a long history of edible and medicinal usage in China, according to the statement.

Cordate houttuynia, also known as Zhe'ergen and often served as a cold salad after being washed, was listed as a traditional Chinese medicine by Chinese authorities in 2012. It has long been used to treat heat and diuretic action in Asia.  

Aristolochic acid is a carcinogenic and nephrotoxic chemical substance, and cordate houttuynia does not belong to the same family of plants, aristolochiaceae, the statement said.

On Wednesday, Swedish Customs reportedly seized a batch of Lianhua Qingwen capsules and, after testing, found only menthol. "It does not work," local media reported.

Menthol is just one of 13 components of the medicine, Yiling told the Global Times in a statement on Friday, adding that the capsules are not registered in Sweden nor are they authorized for export to the country.

The medicine has, through experiments, proven effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients showing mild symptoms, China's top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan said previously.

Lianhua Qingwen has obtained permission to enter countries and regions like Canada, Indonesia, Mozambique, Brazil, Romania, Thailand, Ecuador and Singapore, as well as China's Hong Kong and Macao, the statement read. Yiling has also begun registration work for the product in many other countries.

Phase two clinical trial data for the medicine's efficacy in treating influenza in the US has been collected, according to the company statement.


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