TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan-based Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Co. (順天堂) announced Wednesday (May 26) its donation to hospitals of the first batch of a herbal drug touted as being able to treat COVID-19.
Developed by the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine (NRICM) in 2020, the treatment NRICM101 (清冠一號) contains 10 herbs, including mint, Chinese skullcap, houttuynia, and licorice.
The product has proven effective at inhibiting coronavirus replication and preventing the cytokine storm, in which the body attacks its own cells. It's said to be able to reduce the chance of severe illness in coronavirus patients — without side effects, according to NRICM.
While the medicine has become available as a dietary supplement in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Europe under the names of RespireAid and COVRelief, it was not greenlit in Taiwan until May 18, when an emergency permit was granted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare amid a sudden uptick in local infections.
The recipients include the Chang Gung Medical Foundation, Tri-Service General Hospital, Shin Kong Wu Ho Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei Medical University Hospital, En Chu Kong Hospital, Taoyuan General Hospital, Keelung Hospital, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Changhua Christian Hospital, China Medical University Hospital, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University Hospital.