More efforts must be made to cut down substandard products

More efforts must be made to cut down substandard products

On Friday, the Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) announced to have disposed of about 35,547 counterfeit medical products amounting to 35bn/- during the past one year that President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been in office.

The announcement was made by TMDA Director General, Adam Fimbo in Dodoma, saying the products were unregistered and that they had less quality for medical consumption.

According to Mr Fimbo, TMDA had made successful inspection operations in 14 regions, explaining that conducting business of substandard medicines and medical devices had gone down to 1 percent.

He said the Authority has been making close follow-ups and in any case some products don’t not meet the required standards, TMDA has been disposing them so that they are not consumed by the Tanzanian population.

In the course of close follow-ups, the Director General said that about 215 samples went through laboratory tests and the results indicated that 100percent had qualified to be in the market.

Speaking on medical devices and other medical equipment, he said, about 567 samples were placed on trials whereas 92percent of them had qualified.

According to Mr Fimbo, during the past one year, TMDA had made sure that all citizens are getting correct information on the quality, efficiency and security of medicines and medical devices and that massive education was on top priority.

Scientists and experts in medicine say reliable, good-quality medicine supply is essential for health, but it is often missing in countries with weak regulatory systems. The fallout of falsified and substandard medicines includes poisoning, untreated disease, early death, and treatment failure.

They say falsified and substandard drugs may contain toxic doses of dangerous ingredients and cause mass poisoning.

They say poor-quality medicines compromise the treatment of chronic and infectious diseases, causing disease progression, drug resistance, and death. 

Substandard and falsified medicines encourage drug resistance, threatening the health of populations today and in the future.

 They further state that substandard and falsified medicines also have economic and social consequences, including the direct costs of additional treatment and indirect social costs of lost confidence in the health system and the government.

 In poor countries, where medicines rank second only to food as a household expense, an increase in the family medicines bill can be a palpable hardship. When government or donors supply medicines, they shoulder the added costs of falsified and substandard drugs.

However, the good thing is that scientists and policy makers in developing countries are aware of the toll falsified and substandard drugs take on their health systems. This is the reason why we hail TMDA for the measures it takes to contain the problem but we feel more needs to be done in this area.

Author: EDITOR

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