Fake family planning pills found on market

Thursday May 02 2019
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Identification. On the left is the fake contraceptive with the faded batch number engraving and right is the original contraceptive. PHOTO BY NORBERT ATUKUNDA

Kampala. Sexually active women using Postinor-2, an emergency contraceptive pill, are at risk of getting pregnant following the fake pill that has hit the market, government has warned.

Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, the chairperson of National Drug Authority (NDA), revealed yesterday that they have collected about 400 boxes of fake Postinor-2.
“We have a fake Postinor that is actually counterfeit that has entered Uganda illegally and we have caught people with it,” Dr Bitekyerezo said.

Dr Ruth Jane Aceng, the Minister of Health, said they were not sure how much fake Postinor-2 stock had entered the market.
“I do not know how much has come into the country and I don’t know how much is being displayed. What we can only assure you is NDA is doing its best to ensure this fake Postinor-2 is gotten out of the market,” she said.

She added: “So it is important that you get Postinor-2, you share the samples with NDA so that we confirm whether it’s fake or not.”
Dr Bitekyerezo said the fake Postinor-2 is a little bit pink and the normal one is more pronounced. He said the Cover of the fake one is smooth whereas the genuine one is a little rough and the fake pill has no clear coding of the batch number.

The discovery followed a joint operation by the National Drug Authority, Uganda Police Force, and Health Monitoring Unit on illegal drug dealers, substandard drugs and counterfeit medicines, among others.
Government impounded drugs valued at more than Shs500m from the operation between March and April this year.

“We would like to report that as a result of the two months’ operations, the joint teams impounded 981 boxes of assorted medical items valued at Shs491m of which 165 boxes had medicines intended for public health facilities,” Dr Aceng told journalists yesterday.

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She said the operations started in eastern region and will be extended to other parts of the country.
Four operations carried out in Kampala intercepted three heavy-cargo trucks with 716 boxes of assorted medicines suspected to be unauthorised or medicines labelled Government of Uganda which were being taken to the neighbouring countries.

Operations in four districts of Bukedea, Soroti, Bulambuli, and Serere impounded 31 boxes of medicine while 19 suspects were apprehended.

Court sentence
Arrests. On Wednesday, a court in Kampala convicted a Chinese national, Mr Weiliang Liu, for selling expired drugs and ordered his deportation.
Following the operation, other six culprits were arrested, namely George Makubuya being held at Old Kampala Police Station, Frank Namanya and Onesmus Nimuhwezi being held at Nansana Police Station, among others.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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