Poisons Board recalls substandard drugs


Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board (PMPB) is recalling drugs, from dealers, on suspicion of being sub standard.

Board Acting Registrar, Wilford Mathiya, said the medicines are aspirin tablets manufactured by Pharmanova Limited and have an expiry date of July 2014 while ringers lactate with an expiry date of December 2013 was manufactured by Nirma Limited.

This was revealed during a post marketing inspection that the board carried out in various clinics, medicine stores, wholesale shops and pharmacies across the country.

“We carried out an inspection last month and it was found that some of the drugs were substandard and were not supposed to be taken as medication,” Mathiya said.

He said some of the aspirin tablets were found at Lightcane Pharmaceuticals in Blantyre while some of the ringers Lactate drugs were found at Chiradzulu District Health Office (DHO).

“It was discovered that the drugs were not meeting the specifications. For instance, when some of the aspirin bottles were opened, they produced a bad smell while ringers lactate developed mould which clearly revealed that a degradation process was taking place,” he said.

Taking substandard medicine can have fatal effects on patients, Adrian Chikumbe, Ministry of Health deputy spokesperson has said.

“Some of them might become very poisonous while some may not produce the desired effect in a patient when taken,” Chikumbe said.

Due to such effects that substandard drugs might have, Mathiya said it is pertinent that the drugs be recalled.

“We are calling on the public especially all the wholesalers and the distribution points to follow up the drugs from those who purchased them and recall them for a possible replacement,” he said.

Mathiya attributes the degradation of the drugs to poor storage conditions.

“All the drugs have prescribed storage conditions by the manufacturers such that if not followed, degradation is bound to take place,” he said.

However, Mathiya said the board has exonerated the manufacturers because all the drugs in the country are tested before they are made available for distribution.

Meanwhile, the board is monitoring the recall process through its inspectorate activities.

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