She is now checking whether prohibited public advertising has been carried out for the preparation.
On Wednesday evening, a Swissmedic spokesman confirmed a corresponding report by the TVO in eastern Switzerland at the request of the Keystone-SDA news agency. According to the supervisory authority, there could be prohibited public advertising for an unapproved area of application of a drug.
Swissmedic did not provide details. In general, medicinal products may only be advertised to the public in relation to the possible uses approved by the Therapeutic Products Institute.
On Monday, the media announced a study by the Spiez laboratory, according to which the herbal medicine “Echinaforce” from the Thurgau company A. Vogel helps against coronaviruses in the laboratory. The natural remedy made from extracts of the red coneflower has so far been sold because it is generally supposed to strengthen the immune system and prevent colds.
Effect in the human body open
The researchers found that “Echinaforce” in the test tube has a killing effect on the coronaviruses. According to the Spiezer study, it is completely open whether the substance also works in the human body. The media reported that after the study became known in pharmacies, the demand for “Echinaforce” had risen sharply. As a result, individual pharmacies apparently rationed sales.
The Swissmedic spokesman stated that the scientific publication by the Spiez laboratory in the “Virology Journal” on 9 September led to incorrect interpretations. According to media reports, it was reported in undifferentiated fashion, especially in social media. This has led to a rush of “Echinaforce” preparations and illegal offers on online platforms among consumers.
No medical conclusions could be drawn scientifically from the laboratory study, the spokesman said. Buying preparations with “Echinaforce” in advance is not appropriate. Swissmedic has also been working with platform operators and the cantons since the beginning of the week to delete illegal sales offers to protect consumers.