Thailand’s Health department is warning consumers about fake green chiretta capsules amid high demand for herbs to fight Covid-19. On Monday a man was arrested with fake capsules of green chiretta in Nakhon Pathom province.
The Consumer Protection Police and the Food and Drug Administration said the man was arrested in Kamphaeng Saen district of Nakhon Pathom.
Officials found with him 450 bottles of capsules claimed to contain green chiretta (Fah Talai Jone in Thai), about 60,000 capsules containing powdered herbs, 300 unlabelled packs of capsules and 6,000 empty bottles with caps.
They believed he made the fake green chiretta capsules were made at the house.
The suspect confessed to having filled empty capsules with powdered tinospora crispa, a moonseed herb with heart-shaped leaves or “boraphet” in Thai, since it had a bitter taste like green chiretta.
Acting deputy FDA secretary-general Supatra Boonserm said shortages of green chiretta products amid high demand for the medicinal herb led to fake products.
Police said producers of fake herbal products were liable to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to 1 million baht and that unauthorized sales of herbs and the sale of fake herbs are also punishable by three years in jail and a fine up to 300,000 baht.
Last week the cabinet approved the use of green chiretta to treat asymptomatic Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, the health department will purchase an additional 27 million tablets of the anti-viral drug favipiravir this year and next year for the treatment of Covid-19 patients
The National Health Security Office on Monday also approved the addition of vaccines, medical supplies and laboratory test kits used for Covid-19 treatment to the national health insurance scheme.
The items were authorised by the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Services and agencies authorised by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for inclusion in the health scheme.
The board approved the purchase of 27 million tablets of favipiravir in this year’s procurement plan using 891 million baht from the Covid-19 budget this year, which was tied over to the 2022 budget.