|By ROSE ATHUMANI, 27th September 2011 @ 22:00, Total Comments: 1, Hits: 164|
TANZANIA Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has suspended importation, distribution, sale and dispensing of two types of anti-malaria and two anti-biotics with immediate effect, after some fake drugs were discovered.
The suspension follows an inspection in 390 drug selling outlets that also provided health services in 13 regions. Seven suspects have been apprehended.
The discovered drugs are: Orodar, manufactured by Elys Chemicals Industries Ltd of Kenya, Laifin, manufactured by Laboratories and Allied Ltd of Kenya, Pheoymethylpenicillin manufactured by Zenufa Laboratories Ltd, Dar es Salaam and Erythromycin Stearate manufactured by Astra Lifecare(Pvt) Ltd, India and distributed by Astra Pharmacy respectively.
TFDA Director General Hiiti Sillo said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the seven suspects were apprehended in Kilombero, Mtwara Mikindani, Kasulu, Nyamagana and Sengerema.
"Seven drugs stores have been closed in accordance with the law in Coast, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam regions," he noted.
TFDA also found Artemether Lumefantrine (ALU) coartem, an anti-malarial drug popularly known as 'dawa mseto' manufactured by Norvatis Pharmaceuticals of USA, being sold in pharmacies, with altered expiry dates.
Apparently, the original manufacturer's date was 2007 but had been changed to 2009 and 2012. These drugs were found in Kilombero, Morogoro region.
Mr Sillo cautioned the public to be wary and report to the authority any drug stores selling ALU anti-malaria drugs, which are meant only for public health centres.
"The only Artmether Lumefantrine (ALU) sold in pharmacies have a green label and is very different from those that are directly distributed to public health centres by the medical stores department," Mr Sillo said.
TFDA also discovered fake Ephedrine selling by the names of Elphedren and Elphedrin.
Mr Sillo said among other steps, the authority was conducting an investigation in collaboration with the police, to establish the origin of the fake drugs and carry out laboratory tests on those seized.
The fake penicillin tablets were seized in Geita, while Laifin were seized in Misungwi, Geita and Sengerema districts in Mwanza Region.
Erythromycin Stearate were seized in Geita, Misungwi and Sengerema districts in Mwanza region and Urambo District in Tabora Region.
The TFDA boss has directed district and regional drug inspectors to conduct frequent inspections in their areas and forward their reports to zonal offices in Mwanza, Dodoma, Arusha and Mbeya regions.
Importers, distributors and retailers have been ordered to take care of all documentations on drugs, especially those with batch numbers.
Those who will be found without original documents of the drugs will be held accountable.