THE Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA), has warned on the presence of fake batch of gentrisone 10g cream in drug shops and pharmacies in the country and issued guidelines on what should be done to handle the problem.
TMDA said the fake creams are manufactured by a Korean company, Shin Poong Pharm Co. Ltd and distributed in the country by K&C Trading Co. Ltd under delivery number GNTROX030 with manufacturing date April 21, 2019, and expiry date April 20 2022.
The drugs were found in 4,188 tubes in various drug shops in the regions of Mwanza (1,814), Dar es Salaam (931), Dodoma (591), Tabora (29), Arusha (six) and Mtwara (817), according to a statement issued by TMDA.
According to TMDA, the drugs can be recognized as fake by checking on the delivery number in which the manufacturer confirmed not to produce cream with such number in question.
TMDA said it has proved in the test that the fake creams do not have active ingredients that must be included in medicines approved by the authority.
About 100,000 deaths a year in Africa are linked to uses of fake drugs, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Last year, WHO released a report showing that one in every 10 medical products in low and middle-income countries including Tanzania is substandard or falsified, meaning that people are taking medicines that are not working.
The WHO defines counterfeit/ fake medicine as one which is deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and or source.
Both branded and generic products are faked. In some parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, more than 30 percent of the medicines on sale can be fake, notes the organization Following this alarm, TMDA has advised patients to carefully inspect drug packing boxes to ensure they take genuine medicines.
TMDA said fake drugs are easily recognized because they show number GNTRO X030, contrary to the genuine ones. “Some people have been arrested, including a bodaboda operator, who was caught carrying fake drugs,” reads part of the statement.