The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority has noted with deep concern the statement attributed to Dr. Quince Mwaba, Director General of Medical for Quality Healthcare in Zambia on the alleged failure by the Authority to adequately regulate the pharmaceutical Industry.
ZAMRA Public Relations Officer Ludovic Mwape says the Authority takes strong exception to the content of a statement as the facts therein were misrepresented.
Mr. Mwape said in line with the Medicines and Allied Substances Act Number 3 of 2013 it is not the mandate of ZAMRA to control how patients use their medicines once they are dispensed to them.
He said the Authority, however, ensures that premises used for manufacture, import, and export, distribution, supply and sale of medicines and allied substances are registered and subject to inspections by its inspectors to ensure continued compliance with the law.
Furthermore, Mr. Mwape said it is also a requirement that people handling these medicines and allied substances are qualified and duly registered with their professional bodies adding that a greater majority of Zambians access Antiretroviral drugs from public health facilities.
He said the Ministry of Health also ensures that suitably qualified personnel are deployed to these facilities while the Authority also registers pharmacies in both public and private hospitals.
Mr. Mwape said with these measures in place it is, therefore, regrettable that there are allegations of HIV negative people accessing some types of ARVs which they are reportedly abusing.
He said the Authority is concerned that such practices expose people to high chances of experiencing adverse drug reactions.
Mr. Mwape said ZAMRA will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Zambia Police Services to conduct operations aimed at curbing the illegal sale of medicines.
He said in addition, the Authority conducts public awareness activities aimed at equipping members of the public with information on the dangers associated with accessing medicines from unregistered outlets.
Mr. Mwape has since urged people to guard their health jealously by obtaining medicines from registered facilities where quality, the safety of medicines can be assured.