Observers voice concerns about trial of herbal remedy in Cambodian opiate addicts

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 23 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5491
  1. Jane Parry
  1. 1Hong Kong

    International organisations working in Cambodia have expressed concern over the introduction of an untested and unregistered treatment for opiate addiction that is being promoted in the country.

    The herbal remedy, Bong Sen, is manufactured by a private Vietnamese company, Ben Tre Fataco General Import-Export and Trading Service Co, and sold under the brand name Lotus. The company claims that Bong Sen can lead to detoxification of opiate addicts in four to five days.

    “The drug has not been approved by the WHO,” said Dr Nafis Sadik, UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and Pacific. “No information exists on the efficacy of the medicine for drug detoxification. Bong Sen has not been registered by the Ministry of Health for use in Cambodia and there has been no ethics review or data on how the research is being done there.’’

    According to information obtained …

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