HARARE – The government has warned members of the public against buying pharmaceutical products from unregistered dealers as they may cause serious side effects and drug resistance.
This follows an operation carried out by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in conjunction with Interpol uncovered thousands of fake medicinal products on the local market.
Syndicates taking advantage of drug shortages in public hospitals are flooding the country with fake medicines from countries such as Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa while some are smuggled from as far as Asia.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa said it is disturbing that thousands of unregistered pharmaceutical products, fake anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), expired medicines and sex enhancers which may cause fatal side effects are circulating within the country.
“It is especially dangerous and risky for people who are on lifelong medication like ARVs to buy drugs from unregistered dealers, as taking fake medication will lead to adherence complications,” added Dr Parirenyatwa.
‘Operation Giaboa 2,’ which unearthed the fake medicinal products was conducted by members from the ZRP, police organisations from Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa, as well as Tanzania in conjunction with the International Police (Interpol).
During the operation, a bogus doctor was nabbed in Karoi by police after he was found to be illegally operating a clinic.
Thousands of various types of tablets, lotions, creams and histalix cough syrup were also recovered.