A traditional herbal formula developed in Taiwan, known as Taiwan Chingguan Yihau (清冠一號), or NRICM101, is an effective treatment against COVID-19, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctors said on Friday.
Huang Yi-chia (黃怡嘉), a TCM practitioner from Tri-Service General Hospital, said that her hospital has prescribed NRICM101 to more than 200 COVID-19 patients since it obtained emergency use authorization in Taiwan in May 2020.
The patients, aged three to 100, showed significant improvement after 10 days of treatment, she told a news conference.
Photo: Wu Liang-yi , Taipei Times
The medicine has also helped hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 patients abroad with no side effects reported, she said, without providing details.
The formula is being sold as a supplement overseas.
The National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors’ Association said that people with COVID-19 who are in home quarantine can obtain NRICM101 for free online.
They need to first arrange a telemedicine appointment with a TCM doctor on the Eucare app, which is supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, or contact a local branch for assistance.
Once someone has received a prescription, they can have a designated contact pick up the medicine for them or have a community pharmacist deliver it to their home, the association said.
In other news, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has expanded a list of pre-existing conditions that qualifies people as being at “high risk” for COVID-19 with severe complications, and thus eligible to receive oral treatments such as molnupiravir and Paxlovid.
The list was expanded because Taiwan signed a deal to purchase 700,000 courses of Paxlovid from Pfizer, meaning that it would have a large enough supply of the antiviral drug on hand, Centers for Disease Control official Huang Yu- cheng (黃玉成) said on Saturday.
The nation had previously only been able to purchase about 20,000 courses, which was why the rules were stricter, Huang added.
The CECC said that the list includes those who are current or former smokers, as well as those with chronic liver disease, tuberculosis, dementia or mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.
Prior to the update, only those with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, those who were immunocompromised, and those aged 65 or older were considered at high risk for severe complications.
People with hypertension have been removed from the list, while the body mass index required to be considered high risk has been raised from 25 to 30, Huang said.
The changes to the list were made so that lifesaving drugs would be used on the people with COVID-19 who could really benefit from them, he added.
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