HomeCommunity NewsMCAZ approves viagra as food supplements

MCAZ approves viagra as food supplements

The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) is in a sticky situation after it approved importation and sale of “nutritional supplements” that have turned out to be male sexual enhancers, it has emerged.

BY PHYLLIS MBANJE

The drugs, which were being sold in some pharmacies and streets, have now been banned after MCAZ received information that the “nutritional supplements” were actually enhancers for libido.

It has also emerged that the authority, which has the sole mandate to protect public health by ensuring that medicines and medical devices on the market are safe, had earlier on approved the sale of the drugs without going through the registration process.

However, acting on information from the US and Australia that revealed that the “supplements” were in actual fact male sexual enhancers, MCAZ recently unleashed a ban on the sale of the drugs.
Most of the drugs are manufactured from China, Indonesia, India and Zambia.

In a statement to pharmaceutical wholesalers, retailers and copied to the police, MCAZ director-general, Gugu Mahlangu said the authority was concerned about the actual composition of the drugs.

It announced that it had revoked the earlier approval.

“The supplements claimed 100% herbal content and were presented to the authority for determination to register as nutritional supplements,” she said.

Mahlangu also said explanations given by the companies were “vague” and only said the drugs increased “stamina without any overt claims for increasing libido”.

The banned enhancers Niagra, Wild Horse, Oto, M-Energex, Rock Hard Weekend, 21st Century Herbs for Forty Plus Men, Uqedizininga Men’s Libido, and Power 1, are normally prescribed for men with erectile dysfunction (ED).

Mahlangu could not be reached for comment last week.
However, an official from MCAZ said they had not gone through the normal registration of the drugs because they were convinced by the explanation given, that they were merely supplements.
“Right now the ban is in effect and we have communicated to retailers that they should contact us on the issue of the stocks that they have.

“We will map a way forward on how to address this problem because many had imported the stuff from overseas and it is expensive,” said the official.

He added: “The normal process is that we take a sample of the drug before registering it and do our own tests and once satisfied, we then proceed to register the drug.”

Asked to comment on why the regulatory body had also copied the ban to ZRP, the official said that the police had expressed interest in the drugs following a case in which a man who had used the drugs went on to abuse a minor.

“The police had enquired about the drugs following an incident in Mutoko in which a man who had allegedly taken one of the said drugs went on to abuse a minor,” said the official. “They [police] believe that the drugs are some of the catalysts fuelling cases of child abuse.”

However, some pharmacies and health shops in Harare were still displaying the banned drugs in defiance of the ban.
One pharmacist said he would not withdraw the drug from the shelves without compensation from MCAZ.

“Some of us had ordered the drugs in bulk and we had done so on credit, intending to pay off once our stock had been bought. Who will compensate us now?”

Another pharmacist added: “They are not being truthful when they say they did not know the real use of the drugs because some of the names actually hint on their actual purpose.

“What does Rockhard mean or wild horse? They want us to believe that they did not know when the names speak for themselves.”

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