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Thursday, May 23, 2024

MCAZ revokes 10 pharmaceutical companies’ licences

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

THE Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has revoked licences and permits for 10 pharmaceutical firms that have been illegally trading in counterfeit and unregistered substances which are fueling rampant drug abuse in the country.

Although government through the MCAZ banned the sale and use of unregistered medicines like Bronclear cough syrup while controlling the sale of syrups which contain codeine,the medicines have flooded the streets, prompting the regulatory body to launch an investigation.

“MCAZ‘s primary responsibility is to regulate medicines and medical devices in Zimbabwe. Through our robust regulatory framework, we ensure that only safe, effective and quality medicines are available on the market.”

“By doing so, we aim to prevent the circulation of counterfeit drugs and unregistered substances that can contribute to drug abuse. In this regard the authority has revoked six permits for wholesale dealers and cancelled four persons’ licences who were promoting abuse of Histalix, a locally produced cough mixture containing codeine by illegally selling it at Mbare and places like Chitungwiza and others were exporting to Zambia and Mozambique,” said MCAZ Head Licencing and Enforcement Division, Mrs Caroline Dandira-Samatanga.

The authority has also put in place mechanisms to control availability of codeine-containing medicines through ensuring they are only dispensed to patients with valid prescriptions.

This year alone a total of 17 pharmacies have had their licences revoked as government intensifies the fight to curb drug abuse.

The pharmacies include Bestpharm Pharmaceuticals, Adept Pharmaceuticals, Maturity Pharmaceuticals, Action 24 Medical Suppliers and Medserve Pharmacy, among others.

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