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    Monday, 11 March 2019

    Chiredzi Pharmacy sold 25 types of expired drugs

    •    Drugs sold from the back of a car
    •    Dysfunctional refrigerator operating at 26 Degrees Celicius


    CHIREDZI - Medicine Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has resolved to withdraw Angel Pharmacy’s licences at Chiredzi and Checheche Business Centre in Chipinge for allegedly selling expired drugs and operating without a pharmacist.
    A letter written by MCAZ Director General, Gugu Mahlangu, dated February 5, 2019 to a complainant said the organization conducted an inspection and found the pharmacy with 25 types of drugs which were expired, unregistered or unrefrigerated. The pharmacy also operated without a pharmacist.
    Part of the letter reads: “Reference is made to the complaint made on September 25, 2018- complaint number MCAZ/44/2018 about the sale of unregistered medicines and a lapse in supervision at Tshovani Pharmacy also known as Angel Pharmacy Chiredzi. 
    “Investigative inspections were made which verified the allegations made. The Authority is taking appropriate action against the concerned licencees. The Authority therefore advises that it considers the complaint as closed. The Authority would like to thank you for taking the time to bring the above to its attention.” 
    Angel Pharmacy was found with unregistered drugs including pyrimon eye drops, paracetamol Fresenius 10mg/ml which was both expired and unregistered; atenonol 100 mg-an anti-hypertensive drug which was unregistered, as well as typhoid fever vaccines which were not refrigerated.
    According to the report compiled by an inspector from MCAZ; Emmanuel Makotore and reviewed by Sly Mutyavaviri, after a tip off from a member of the public, an investigative inspection was carried out on October 21 2018.
    Part of the report dated November 7 2018 read; “On the day of the inspection, the inspectors went undercover as patients and requested for pyrimon eye drops. Rumbidzayi Chidzimba who identified herself as the ‘pharmacist’ gave a quotation of US$8 for pyrimon eye drops.
    “The inspectors paid and then Chidzimba asked the other dispensary assistant to fetch the medicine outside. The other dispensary assistant proceeded to a white sedan that was parked outside the pharmacy and collected the pyrimon from the vehicle.
    “She handed it over to Chidzimba who added the inspectors’ details into the dispense ware. The officer was given the pyrimon without a dispensing label. Upon request for the label, the inspector was told that for that kind of medicine it was the practice of the pharmacy not to put labels.
    “At that juncture the officers introduced themselves and removed the medicine from the trunk of the car. The officers then requested to see the pharmacist who was said to be absent. She had not been at work the whole day.”
    The report went further to list 16 types of unregistered and expired drugs found in the trunk of the car and were confiscated. It went on to say 85 tablets that were in an unlabelled pill bag were also found, but could not be identified what they were.
    A further search of the pharmacy revealed that the refrigerator in the dispensary was not functioning properly with the thermometer inside showing a temperature reading of 26 Degrees Celsius.
     The pharmacy staff could not also produce invoices to account for the purchases of the drugs.
    It was immediately instructed to close pending confirmation of appropriate supervision, and the supervisor was requested to comment on the observation within seven days, and provide invoices and names of the suppliers of the confiscated medicines.
    The supervisor was further instructed to keep the medicines that were in the fridge on the day of the inspection under quarantine until the matter has been finalized. 
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