THE Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has revoked permits for several wholesale pharmaceutical operators found to be exporting Histalix D, a locally-manufactured cough syrup, and cancelled the licences of individuals promoting drug abuse.
The authority disclosed that over-the-counter medicines from other countries are being illegally imported.
As part of its efforts to combat drug abuse, MCAZ is educating various stakeholders, including ZIMRA, National Prosecuting Authority, port health officials, and the police on entry of drugs through ports of entry and on illegal channels.
MCAZ is also urging medical professionals to adhere to pharmaceutical guidelines or risk having their licences revoked.
Histalix, which contains codeine, was being illegally sold in Mbare and Chitungwiza, while some of it was being exported to Zambia and Mozambique.
MCAZ head of the Licensing and Enforcement Division, Caroline Dandira-Samatanga, said the authority had put in place mechanisms to control availability of codeine containing medicines by making the prescription preparations.
“This means that they cannot be dispensed without a valid prescription,” she said.
“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.”
Dandira-Samatanga said drug abuse was a complex issue that affects individuals, families and communities across Zimbabwe.
“It poses serious threats to public health, social stability and economic development.
“MCAZ acknowledges that addressing this challenge requires a comprehensive approach involving various stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare professionals, civil society organisations and the public.
“We aim to prevent the circulation of counterfeit drugs and unregistered substances that can contribute to drug abuse.”