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Blitz exposes unregistered medicines

A JOINT operation between the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and the police this week uncovered an illegal distribution network of unregistered and expired medicines including illicit products such as skin lightening creams in the farming town of Karoi in Mashonland West province.

The raid was conducted on Monday this week leading to the arrest of suspects while some of the medicines were confiscated.

This swoop was part of government efforts to curb the sale, consumption and distribution of dangerous drugs and medicines in Zimbabwe.

In a statement MCAZ director-general Richard Rukwata said the blitz  discovered a widespread illegal operation involving the sale of unregistered, expired and unlawfully distributed medicines, including body-altering products like skin lightening creams. “The raid led to the discovery of unregistered medicines, expired drugs and even registered medicines being sold unlawfully. Additionally, skin lightening creams and other body-altering products were recovered.

“These medicines were being sold from flea market tables, car boot sales among other unauthorised places. All the medicines were being handled by unlicensed individuals.

“As a result of our joint efforts, suspects were apprehended and handed over to the prosecuting authorities, and all recovered medicines were confiscated.”

Rukwata said the operation was part of the authorities’ continued enforcement activities aimed at identified hotspots where individuals involved in the illegal distribution of unregistered medicines, expired drugs and other illicit medicinal products conduct their business.

“The MCAZ remains committed to ensuring the safety and integrity of pharmaceutical products available to the public. Such collaborative actions underscore our dedicated efforts to curb drug and substance abuse across the nation while upholding regulatory standards and safeguarding public health,” he said.

“We urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious pharmaceutical activities to the authorities. Together, we can combat the distribution of unregistered and expired medicines, promoting a safer environment for all Zimbabweans,” he said

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