AG admits herbal drugs’ potential to treat cancer

Saturday October 24 2020
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Herbal researcher David Ssenfuka (pictured) sued government for refusing or failing to approve his herbal formula which he claims cures chronic diseases. PHOTO/ DERRICK WANDERA

By Juliet Kigongo

Herbal drugs produced by a local research firm, Leona-NNN-Medical Research and Diagnostics Centre, have potential to treat cancer and diabetes, the Attorney General (AG) has revealed.

The government legal advisor admitted that National Chemotherapeutics Research Institute (NCRI) duly conducted preclinical analysis on the firm’s herbal products, which revealed that the natural herbal extracts have the potential to treat carcinogenic and diabetic conditions.

“The reports were shared with the plaintiffs in expectation that they would proceed to submit the product for human clinical trials as per the procedure laid down in the law,” the AG said. He was making a statement of defence in a case in which herbal researcher David Ssenfuka sued government for refusing or failing to approve his herbal formula. which he claims cures chronic diseases.

“Regrettably to date, they have not applied to the relevant bodies, which are National Drug Authority (NDA) and Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST), and neither have they taken further interest to seek advice from the relevant authorities as to the appropriate legal steps to take,” Mr Ssenfuka states in his petition.
However in response, the AG said the government had forwarded the matter to NCRI, which is mandated to engage in research in natural products.

The case came up for hearing yesterday before Justice Esta Nambayo who adjourned it to November 5 upon the request of Mr Senfuka’s lawyer, Mr William Kyobe. 
The lawyer asked court for adjournment to enable him respond to the AG’s response .