BUSINESS Sales of banlangen granules surged after expert ‘backed’ use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment

BUSINESS

Sales of banlangen granules surged after expert ‘backed’ use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment

Global Times

16:19, October 19, 2020

Guangzhou Baiyunshan's Banlangen granule (Photo: CFP)

Sales of Chinese herbal medicine soared over the weekend after a top Chinese respiratory expert backed the drug in the treatment of coronavirus.

Banlangen granules, a common Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in treatment of cold, sold out in many cities across China over the weekend after top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan said it might be able to inhibit coronavirus.

The Global Times visited several drug stores in Shanghai on Monday and found the drug has indeed sold out.

"Certain brands, including the ones made by Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical, have been out of stock since Saturday. We will have some new stock in tomorrow," a member of staff at LBX Pharmacy told the Global Times on Monday.

Online research also showed that some brands were "out of stock and the goods will be shipped after arrival," according to multiple online platforms such as JD Pharmacy and Alibaba Health.

Sales of banlangen surged significantly since Friday, seeing a single daily rise of 3,130 percent compared with Thursday, according to sales data sent by online drug retailer 111 Inc to the Global Times on Monday.

In a spillover effect, other similar TCM products such as Lianhua Qingwen also increased by 10 times compared with the same period last year on the platform.

The popularity of the medicine comes after a research team led by Zhong found that banlangen granules manufactured by Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical were effective against the virus in a series of in-vitro studies, Chinese media quoted him as saying during a press conference on October 13 in Guangzhou.

The company issued an announcement on Sunday that media reports regarding the effectives of the drug are only results from a series of in-vitro studies and further clinical trials are needed to establish the drug's efficacy.

The sales of Banlangen granules are not expected to have a significant impact on the company's operating results, the statement said.

Stocks of Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings dropped 3.28 percent to 33.06 yuan at the end of Monday trading in Shanghai. Its A shares hit a 10 percent daily limit on Friday.

TCM has been widely used in treating coronavirus in China.

During the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, people rushed to pharmacies to buy Shuanghuanglian oral liquid and Lianhua Qingwen capsules after they were also reported to be effective against the coronavirus.

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