HARARE – Ibuprofen tablets have flooded the informal market, raising fears the drug could be counterfeit which may put the lives of thousands of people at risk.
A snap survey at Mbare Musika bus terminus and Mupedzanhamo flea market showed that syndicates taking advantage of drug shortages in public hospitals, are supplying the country with medicines mostly Ibuprofen.
The medicine is reportedly being smuggled from countries such as Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa while other drugs are smuggled from as far as Asia.
The tablets whose authenticity could not be ascertained are being sold in unlicensed locations such as bus terminus, flea markets, hairdressing salons and houses.
Members of the public acknowledged that such activities are rampant.
Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe Spokesperson, Mr Richard Rukwata urged members of the public to refrain from purchasing medicines from unlicensed places adding that most of the times, the drugs would even be cheaper in registered pharmacies.
Often times people selling medicines illegally are not trained in the use and administration of drugs and there is a danger of misleading the consumers by claiming the medicines work for a particular condition when in fact they are meant for other conditions.
Most of the medicines that are sold on the black market are counterfeit, expired or are concoctions that have no active medical ingredients.
Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is commonly used for the relief of pain.