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Regulation of advertisement of traditional medicine

Regulation of advertisement of traditional medicine

I have been seeing advertisements of traditional and alternative medicine remedies that are claimed to have the efficacy of enlarging male sexual organs and even boosting men’s sexual power amongst others. Is there any law that regulates these immoral advertisements of such traditional and alternative medicine remedies? 

PP, Dar

Advertisements of traditional and alternative medicine remedies as well as herbal drugs are regulated by the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act [Cap. 244); the Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices Act [Cap. 219]; the Traditional and Alternative Medicine (Code of Ethics, Conducts and Practice) Regulations, 2008 (GN No. 409 of 2010) as amended by GN No. 425 of 2017 and the Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices (Control of Drug and Herbal Drugs Promotion) Regulations, 2010 (GN No. 160 of 2010).

Section 6(1)(l) of the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act gives the Traditional and Alternative Health Practice Council power to control the dissemination of information and all advertisement pertaining to the traditional and alternative medicine.

According to regulation 10 of the Traditional and Alternative Medicine (Code of Ethics, Conduct and Practice) Regulations, 2010, a traditional medicine practitioner who wants to advertise his product must have his advertisement vetted by the Traditional and Alternative Health Practice Council before the advertisement goes public.

It is an offence for a herbalist to advertise his product or himself without the advertisement being vetted by the Council. For the Council to approve the advertisement of a traditional or alternative medicine, the product intended to be advertised must first be registered with the Council.

The contents of the advertisement should be consistent with the information approved during the registration of the product. The advertisement should not contain false or misleading information regarding efficacy or value of the traditional medicine.

The efficacy or value of the traditional medicine is tested by the Council by seeking clinical trial tests from other institutions like Chief Government Chemist Laboratory Agency or Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices Authority who have scientific laboratories.

If the traditional medicine is a herbal drug, its advertisement should get approval of the Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices Authority. Section 3 of the Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices Act defines a herbal drug (or herbal drugs) as labeled preparation in pharmaceutical dosage form that contains one or more substance of natural origin as an active ingredient that are derived from plants.

It is an offence under the Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices Act and Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices (Control of Drug and Herbal Drugs Promotion) Regulations, 2010 to advertise a herbal drug without the approval of the TMDA. It is also an offence for herbalists to advertise a herbal drug in a manner that is misleading, deceptive, false, or likely to create erroneous impression regarding the character, value, efficacy of a herbal drug.

This offence attracts a fine of not less than 100, 000 TZS or two weeks imprisonment. Hence there is a legal process and trials that must be conducted depending on the product before any approvals are granted.

Offence of forgery

I asked my friend to collect my rent allowance from our cashier on my behalf. After taking the money he signed the paylist on my behalf. He is now being accused of forgery on the ground that he signed the pay-list purporting to be me. Is there anything wrong he did as the money was really due to me? I see nothing wrong with this.

OG, Moshi

Section 333 of the Penal Code [Cap. 16 R.E 2019] defines forgery as creating a false document with the intent to deceive or defraud. If the money was due to you and he delivered it to you, there is no crime he committed.

The mere fact that your friend signed the pay-list purporting to be you, does not in itself make him guilty of forgery if at the time of signing he had no guilty intent to defraud or deceive the cashier. False signature in the document itself is not enough to establish the offence of forgery. It is coupled with intent to deceive or defraud. Unless there is something you have not disclosed to us, in this case we see no intent and hence no forgery.

Beehive in neighborhood

My neighbor has placed a number of beehives in a tree whose shade gets into my house. I am very conscious about my beauty and thus use perfumes and lotion with strong scents. I am worried the bees might attack me because of this scent. What can I do legally?

LJ Arusha

The law which provides for beehive keeping is the Beekeeping Act, 2002 (the Act) and it protects equally those with or without beauty. This law states that if the Director or authorised officer is satisfied that in particular premises the keeping of bees or a number of beehives are public nuisance or a danger to public health or Public safety; or for any other specified reason, those premises are unsuitable for beekeeping, he may, by order served on the person who is keeping the beehives prohibit the keeping of bees on those Premises; or order the said person to keep a specified number of beehives on those the said premises.

If the person does not implement the order of the Director or authorised officer, the Act states that, where the Director or an authorised officer is satisfied that a person has failed to comply with directives contained in an order under the Director or the authorised officer, this shall be reported to Court.

Based on the above, you can report your concern to the Director regulating the beekeepers. The Director shall send his authorised officer to inquire about the issue and they will decide a way forward. If the above is not decided in your favor, you can institute a tortuous case on the ground of nuisance and seek the Court to grant permanent injunction against your neighbor. Kindly consult your lawyers for further guidance.

Send in your questions by email to: qa@fbattorneys.co.tz or by post to: Q&A with FB Attorneys C/o The Daily News, P. O. Box 9033 DSM, Tanzania To receive this column by email, please visit our website to subscribe.

You can also read the column online Logon to www.fbattorneys.co.tz and click on Publications. This column is intended to give you a general overview of the Law. It is not a substitute to the role of your legal advisor. If you have legal issues, you are strongly recommended to contact your attorney.

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