The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), in 2017 recorded an increase in the registration of complementary medicines attributable to intensified hype of regulations and enforcement activities.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The regulator’s spokesperson Mr Shingai Gwatidzo in an interview said 69 complementary medicines were approved.
“The authority has witnessed an increase in the number of registered Complementary medicines (including those that are locally produced), which resulted from increased awareness about the Complementary Medicines Regulations and increased enforcement activities. This year a total of 69 Complementary medicines were approved or registered,” he said.
He emphasised the need for continuous engagement with regulators.
“There is need for continued engagement with various stakeholders to ensure increased compliance and adherence to the requirements for approval of Complementary medicines,” said Mr Gwatidzo.
In a statement accompanying the 2017 annual report, MCAZ former chairperson Mrs Josephine Ncube said the introduction of complementary medicines regulations led to a number of players submitting product applications.
“Whilst the introduction of regulations on complementary medicines saw a number of applications make the effort to submit product applications under the new regulations, it was the view of the Authority that full compliance was not achieved. All current and aspiring marketers of the complementary medicines are continuously encouraged to submit applications for approval under the regulations,” she said.
Officiating MCAZ annual stakeholders’ conference, Health and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said he was pleased by the swift reaction of the regulator in arresting Prophet Walter Magaya when he sensationally claimed his phytochemical HIV Cure discovery. Dubbed Aguma, it is a complementary medicine which is still yet to be registered with MCAZ. He was arrested for flouting the regulations on advertisement of medicines yet to be registered.
“If we take shortcuts we will not be safeguarding the safety of the public. We are actually putting them in a situation which would be disastrous. Is authority leveraging on relationships with other regulators, the law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, customs, and other health authorities, professional councils, urban councils, patient associations, civil society.
“I was very the other time, when there was a pronouncement of an HIV cure. And you came out very strong and you were arresting people, left right and centre. And I said wow, they are active, they are working. So this is what we want,” he said.