Use of Blue Scorpion Venom Not Authorized by Cuba

Havanajournal:

Cuba has not obtained any pharmaceutical product from the venom of a blue scorpion species (Rhopalurus junceus) that could be considered a medicament, according to the national and international norms established for drugs to be used on humans. This was stated in Havana by Dr. Rafael Pérez, the director general of the Bureau of Regulation for Health Protection and the State Center for the Quality Control of Medicines (CECMED) of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.

The scientist, a toxicology specialist and Permanent Academician with the Cuban Academy of Sciences, gave this warning due to information that has spread by different media outlets based on “empiric and popular criteria” that Escozul (name of the formula prepared with the scorpion venom) has analgesic, immuno-regulating, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and that it is effective in the treatment of some types of malign tumors, specifically in patients in the terminal stage of the disease and for people suffering from AIDS and prostate cancer.

Also included are anecdotes of patients that refer to the “beneficial properties” and to the therapeutic success of the formulas.

Dr. Pérez indicated that, since 2004, Escozul has been in the preclinical research stage in the search for potential therapeutic properties, which include the description of the venom’s psychochemical and biological elements and pharmacological and toxicological studies, which are carried out experimentally on laboratory animals.

Until the results of this first research stage are obtained and evidence is presented to CECMED of the product’s safety -that it causes no damage- and it’s efficient pharmacological action is demonstrated, it is not possible to move on to the next stage, which is the authorization to perform clinical trials on humans.

Authorization for marketing and its use by means of the health register, according to Cuban Heath Law, constitutes a rigorous binding process backed up by committees of experts made up by specialists of high scientific level for all medicaments developed by our Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Industry.

The wide and erroneous promotion the scorpion venom has been receiving has gone beyond our borders, and mainly in Latin America a number of formulas of “the scorpion venom” are being commercialized, even with indications that they’re produced by Cuban laboratories or health centers.

It’s important to know, underlined Dr. Pérez, that so far we have no documented evidence showing the therapeutic action attributed to the blue scorpion venom that can justify its safe and efficient use.

Therefore, both the production process and the therapeutic use of Escozul are not authorized by CECMED, a center that has been certified by the World Health Organization as a competent regulating authority for the production of medicaments and vaccines, which this week celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding.

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2 Responses to Use of Blue Scorpion Venom Not Authorized by Cuba

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