By Vanguard Reporter
National Drug Authority (NDA) and the police, have arrested three men for allegedly manufacture and sell of fake Covidex herbal medicine. According to Mr James William Tamale, the NDA head of regions, the suspects, including a clinical officer in Nansana, Wakiso District, a barber in Wandegeya, Kampala, and another who works at an agro-chemicals shop, were arrested last Sunday from different parts of the city and were by detained at Wandegeya Police Station.
“We believe they were working as a team because when we got a tip off, one person led us to another. We recovered 300 bottles in total and we are trying to analyse what they have been selling,” Mr Tamale told journalists at their Nakawa regional offices on Friday.
Asked how they got to know that the herbal medicine, which is less than two weeks in the market, is fake, he said they got information from the public about the fake bottles and working with the manufacturer of Covidex, ascertained that the bottles that the trio were selling were indeed fake and they could be dangerous human life.
Mr Charles Twine, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson, said they have a unit that prosecutes such offenders under the NDA Act for all offences related to drugs and pharmaceuticals.
“NDA has a whole system of capable officers who carry out the prosecutions and investigations of all offences provided for under the NDA Act. Police just provides the detention facilities for the suspects,” he said.
Mr Tamale added that for the last 12 days, NDA has been conducting enforcement operations in different drug outlets in Kampala to ensure compliance with the NDA drug policy and licencing guidelines as part of their routine operations.
He said of the 382 drug outlets inspected, 169 were pharmacies, 152 drug shops and 59 clinics. Out of these, 48 drug shops were found performing clinical services in unsuitable premises, and they were issued with closure notices.
At least 14 clinics were found displaying medicines and operating unlicensed pharmacies within their premises, explaining that these were taking advantage of the lockdown to operate illegally.
Last month, the National Drug Authority approved the use of Covidex, a local herbal medicine as a supporting treatment for viral infections, including Covid-19. Last week, many pharmacies around the city reported running out of stock as a result of increased demand.