Despite a ban imposed by the Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), a traditional medicine product, Netragen is still being circulated across the country.
Two weeks ago, TFDA-Lake Zone Office banned the production, distribution and advertisement of Netragen drug after detecting violation of laws and regulations governing the drug sector on the part of the producer (Herboworx).
Impeccable sources said Herboworx Ltd based in Mwanza is still distributing Netragen, which is claimed to help persons with peptic ulcers, seeking the drug despite the banning order by TFDA-Lake Zone Branch.
Speaking on the phone yesterday, TFDA Information Officer, Gaudensia Simwanza said the TFDA head office is currently investigating those reports. “…we want to get the truth of the story before we take action,” she said.
She, however, noted that the ban imposed by the TFDA Zonal office on the production, distribution and advertisement of Netragen drug was still intact and must be respected by the manufacturer.
It was against the law for traditional medicinemen to distribute drugs to various centres, warning Herboworx against distributing Netragen drug to its centres located in Dodoma, Mbeya, Dar es Salaam, and Mwanza.
TFDA would deploy zonal officials to conduct inspections across the regions to see if Herboworx centres were still distributing the drug, “so that appropriate legal and disciplinary actions are taken against the culprits if we find that they disobeyed an order issued by the authority through its Lake zonal office.”
Herboworx station managers for Dodoma and Mwanza interviewed by Clouds FM last week said that the drugs were still on sale, and that distribution to needy patients was going on.
Announcing the ban two weeks ago, TFDA’s Lake Zonal Inspector Aggrey Muhabuki told a press conference that there was gross violation of laws and regulations governing the drugs sector on the part of Herboworx.
Speaking after an inspection at the company’s production sites and clinics, TFDA official said the entire chain of production, distribution and advertisement of Netragen and other traditional drugs of Herboworkx do not meet requirements as provided for in the Traditional Medicine Act and TFDA regulations.
TFDA’s scrutiny has revealed that Herboworx has no license and permit allowing it to provide services from authorities governing the drug sector—either TFDA or the Traditional Medicine Council.
Secondly, the company has been advertizing its products, which the zonal inspector said was wrong and contrary to the Traditional Medicine Act. The traditional medicine law allows a traditional doctor to personally administer drugs or herbs to patients, and not open distribution branches.
Even the production of Herboworx drugs were done in an environment which does not meet drug standards and safety.
“The production site is not clean. Packaging and labeling of their products does not meet the set quality and standards requirements,” she stated.
Speaking before TFDA statement, Herboworx operator Mwita Marwa said that Netragen drug was approved by the Government Chemist and that he had permits from the Traditional Medicine Unit of Ministry of Health and Social Welfare at Mwanza, claims which TFDA inspectors said were not true, insisting that he had no permit or license for the services.
“Because of these shortfalls, from today (two weeks ago), the authority bans production, distribution and advertisements of Herboworx products, until the company complies with laid down procedures, rules, laws and regulations governing the drug sector,” the zonal inspector had declared.
The authority also issued a warning to traditional doctors to abide by laws and regulations, failure of which stringent measures would be taken against them.