MCAZ cancels licenses of medicine wholesalers accused of peddling drugs to neighbouring countries

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By Reason Razao | Senior Reporter

Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has revoked 6 permits for wholesale dealers and canceled 4 person licences for drug peddling.

Addressing the media in Harare on Monday, MCAZ Head of Licensing and Enforcement Caroline Samatanga said the wholesalers along with the four individuals were promoting abuse of Histalix, a locally produced cough mixture containing codeine.

The mixture was sold illegally at Mbare and places like Chitungwiza while others were exported to Zambia and Mozambique.

“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,” said Samatanga.

Some of the wholesalers whose licenses were canceled include Murity Pharmaceuticals, Adept Pharmaceuticals, Action Medical Suppliers, Bestpharm Investments, Universal Pharmaceuticals, Sagpot Trading which trades as Sagmed Pharmaceuticals.

The Authority said it has put in place mechanisms to control the availability of codeine containing medicines by making the prescription preparations.

“This means that they cannot be dispensed without the provision of a valid prescription. However, the Authority notes with concern that over-the-counter medicines from other countries are continuously being imported illegally.

“In addition to our regulatory role, MCAZ actively collaborates with other government agencies and partners in implementing strategies aimed at preventing drug abuse.

“The Authority works closely with law enforcement agencies to combat illicit drug trafficking and ensure strict adherence to regulations governing controlled substances,” Samatanga said.

MCAZ said it has scaled up operations and is working with various stakeholders, including the Police, CID Drugs, National Prosecutors, ZIMRA and Port health officials to educate them on the entry of these drugs through ports of entry or illegal channels.

The Authority has so far held training sessions with the aforementioned stakeholders in various provinces this year including Masvingo, Beitbridge, Zvishavane, Victoria Falls and Mutare.