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The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has warned media houses against aertising medicines, saying this is a violation of regulations governing the sale of medicines in the country. In a statement yesterday, MCAZ director-general Ms Gugu Mahlangu said the authority has noted with concern articles promoting the sale of these medicines particularly those that treat terminal and life threatening conditions.

She said while presentation and information in these articles promotes the sale of these medicines, their safety, quality and efficacy on people had not been evaluated by the authority.

“These articles are unacceptable and are misleading especially when the opinions of the authority are omitted and such articles could be considered as aertising material,” she said.

According to Section 65 (1b) and (3) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control (General) Regulations Statutory Instrument 150 of 1991 prohibits aertising of any medicine.

Section 1b reads: “No person shall aertise or sell any other medicine without the approval of the Authority in writing.”

Section 3 further reads: “No person shall aertise any medicine to members of the public in terms calculated to lead to its use for the treatment of human beings for any of the conditions set out in the seventh schedule: provided that this subsection shall not apply to aertisement published by any local authority or by or with the consent of the minister.”

Some of the treatments prohibited for aertising as stipulated in the seventh schedule include those for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, sexually-transmitted diseases and tuberculosis among others.

“Media, printing and publishing houses are therefore requested to take note of and comply with the above provisions as aertising any medicine without the authority’s approval is an offence,” Ms Mahlangu said.

Of late, local newspapers have been awash with aerts from local and foreign traditional healers and agents selling various herbs or unregistered conventional drugs.

The aerts claim that the herbs could work miracles in the treatment of various diseases in a short space of time.

Source : The Herald