Mwanza — TANZANIA Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has banned manufacturing, distribution and advertisement of a traditional medicine, dubbed "Netragen" which is claimed to cure peptic ulcers.
The latest revelations comes as TFDA, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and other relevant government instruments tighten controls to check manufacturing and distribution of substandard and unauthorized drugs in the domestic markets.
Netragen is manufactured by Mwanza-based Company, Herboworkx which is run and owned by a person who calls himself a traditional doctor, Mwita Marwa.
Production of the drug is conducted at the company's workshop located at Ilemela, and later on distributed to various outlets operated by Herboworkx.
Speaking after a surprise inspection at the company's production sites and clinics on Friday, TFDA's Lake Zonal Inspector, Aggrey Muhabuki told reporters that there is gross violation of laws and regulations governing drug sector on the part of Herboworkx.
The entire chain of production, distribution and advertisement of Netragen and other traditional drugs of Herboworkx do not meet requirements as provided for in the Traditional Medicine Act and TFDA laws.
TFDA's scrutiny has revealed that Herboworkx has no licences and permits (allowing it to provide services) from authorities governing the drug sector--either TFDA or Traditional Medicine Council. Secondly, the company had been advertising its products in the media, something which zonal inspector said was wrong and contrary to the traditional medicine act.
The traditional medicine laws allow the traditional doctor to personally administer concoctions to his/her patients, and not open distribution branches. Even the production of Herboworx drugs were done in an environment which does not meet drug standards and safety.
"The production site is not clean, packaging and labelling of their products do not meet the set quality and standards requirements."
Earlier, before TFDA official statement, owner of Herboworx, Mr Marwa said that Netragen drug was approved by the Government Chemist and that he had permits from the Traditional Medicine Unit of Ministry of Health and Social Welfare-- Mwanza, claims which TFDA inspectors said were not true and that he had no permits and licences for the services.
"Because of these shortfalls, from today (Friday), the authority bans production, distribution and advertisements of Herboworx products, until the company comply with laid down procedures, rules, laws and regulations government the drug sector," the statement said.
The authority also issued a strong warning to traditional doctors to abide by the laws and regulations, failure of which stringent measures would be taken against them.
Meanwhile, Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has began a massive operation to curb fake drugs and cosmetics which the authority fear to be harmful to human beings.
The operation, according to TFDA Zonal manager, Moses Mbamba, would also track down local manufacturers of the sub standard and unlicenced drugs and food products.