In an interview with the Lusaka Star, PRA Public Relations Officer Ludovic Mwape said all medicines that were packaged in a conventional manner such as syrups and tablets had to be certified before they could be put on the market. THE Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) has urged the general public to beware of uncertified medicine on the Zambian market as they pose a danger to their health.
In an interview with the Lusaka Star, PRA Public Relations Officer Ludovic Mwape said all medicines that were packaged in a conventional manner such as syrups and tablets had to be certified before they could be put on the market.
Mr. Mwape said certifying medicine ensured that the medicine, herbal medicine or allied substance were suitable for the purpose for which they were intended.
He said certifying medicine also ascertained their quality and safety.
“The only medicine that we do not regulate is one which is crude, medicines such as roots and pounded leaves. Otherwise, all medicines that are in form of tablets and syrup must be certified by our institution prior to being put on the market,” he said.
Mr. Mwape noted that certified medicines could be identified by their label, adding that consumers should look out for the manufacturing date, expiry date and batch number on the package.
“People should buy medicine from registered outlets instead of ‘Tuntembas’. Registered outlets have safe and good quality medicine in stock,” he advised.
Mr. Mwape further said registered outlets are given registration certificates which they are supposed to display in their shops.
He said outlets selling medicine were mandated to be managed by a certified Pharmacist whose certificate should be displayed in the shop as well.
He added that PRA conducted random inspections on the streets and culprits would be dealt with according to the Pharmaceutical law.
Meanwhile, University of Zambia medicine student Philip Mukonge said many medicine dealers who sold uncertified medicine dodged PRA because their products were non-conversional.
Mr. Mukonge, who is at Ridgeway campus, cited the hip and penis enlargement medicines on the Zambian market as examples of medicines which were non-conversional and hence not examined by the regulatory authority.
“The contents of such medicines are not known because they have not been subjected to tests. Such medicines have potential to cause cancer to the consumers,” he explained.
Mr. Munkonge therefore advised the public to desist from buying uncertified medicines, mainly the non-conversional ones as they were a risk to their health.