Justice Ministry rushes production of Thai herb in demand to treat Covid
The Justice Ministry on Sunday instructed the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) to repair an amphetamine-making machine to produce Fah Talai Jone (Andrographis paniculata) tablets in a bid to tackle shortage.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin explained that the ministry had earlier instructed prisons nationwide to grow Fah Talai Jone, a well-known medicinal plant in Thailand, in their area to produce drugs for treating Covid-19 patients.
He expected the Department of Corrections to produce approximately 4 million Fah Talai Jone capsules in August.
"As the current production may not meet the demand in the future, we have instructed the ONCB to repair an amphetamine-making machine that can produce approximately 20,000 tablets per hour as our backup plan," he said.
He expected the repair work to be completed on Monday and the Justice Ministry's pump to be ready on Friday. He added that the ministry would operate the machine using its pump while waiting for a new one.
"We have to be well-prepared for tackling various problems as Fah Talai Jone is accepted by many people as capable of treating Covid-19, while the price of Fah Talai Jone powder may hit THB1,000 per kilogram," he said.
He added that this move aimed to meet the demand for Fah Talai Jone drugs among inmates and citizens.
The herb has been used traditionally for cold, fever, influenza and bacterial infections. The herb hit the after a study by the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine said that it can help treat Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms and those who are asymptomatic.