Regulatory in brief | France, the UK, the US

Regulatory in brief | France, the UK, the US

21 April 2020 - Deborah Wilkes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, France has warned people to stop taking certain food supplements if they have COVID-19, the UK has issued advice on the use of ibuprofen and COVID-19, and the US has authorised the first diagnostic test for COVID-19 with at-home sample collection.

France warns about food supplements

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has warned people to stop taking certain food supplements if they are suffering from COVID-19.

The ANSES said certain plants contained in food supplements had anti-inflammatory properties and could disturb the body’s immune response to infections.

Plants mentioned by the ANSES include birch, echinacea, goldenrod, harpagophytum, liquorice, meadowsweet, poplar, turmeric and willow.

The ANSES said people taking the food supplements as a preventive measure should suspend consumption as soon as the first symptoms of COVID-19 appeared.

Furthermore, people taking the food supplements for chronic inflammatory conditions should talk to their doctor.

France also recently warned that anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and cortisone could aggravate COVID-19 (click here to read the News story).

UK advises on ibuprofen and COVID-19

The UK’s Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) has issued advice on the use of ibuprofen and COVID-19.

The CHM’s Expert Working Group said there was “currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between the use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or the worsening of its symptoms”.

“Patients can take paracetamol or ibuprofen when self-medicating for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headache,” stated the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The move by the UK comes several weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO), European Medicines Agency (EMA), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies released advice on ibuprofen and COVID-19 (click here to read the News story).

US authorises at-home sample collection

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised the first diagnostic test for COVID-19 with at-home sample collection.

LabCorp’s COVID-19 RT-PCR Test can be used to test a sample collected from a patient’s nose using a self-collection kit that contains nasal swabs and saline. The sample is mailed to LabCorp for testing.

The FDA said the authorisation only applied to LabCorp’s COVID-19 RT-PCR Test for at-home collection of nasal swabs specimens using the Pixel by Labcorp COVID-19 home collection kit.

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