FALSE: FDA approves Chinese medicine for treating COVID-19

Claim:

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a specific traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating COVID-19 patients.

A message that is being circulated on apps like Viber says, "FDA finally approved this Chinese medicine for COVID patients! Wasted 5 months! But still, late is better than never."

The message has an attached screenshot of a Facebook post with boxes of the TCM Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang.

This claim was sent to Rappler by a reader for fact checking.

Rating: FALSE
The facts:

The FDA has not approved Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang for treating COVID-19. On the contrary, it warned the public on May 6 against purchasing and using the product.

Their advisory said that the product was not registered with the FDA so they cannot guarantee its quality and safety.

"The consumption of such violative product may pose potential danger or injury if administered," they said.

They advised the public not to purchase the product, to be vigilant against it, and to always check if a drug product is registered with the FDA before buying it.

Also, a report published on May 23 said that authorities raided a warehouse in Bacoor City that housed thousands of the Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang capsules. The police arrested two Chinese nationals for selling the product.

As of Wednesday, July 29, there has been no official cure for COVID-19. The World Health Organization says that while some traditional or home remedies may provide comfort, no medicines have been proven to cure the disease. They also advise against self-medication with any medicines. – Vernise Tantuco/Rappler.com