By Nation Reporter
THE Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) has been ordered to recall defective drugs from the 42, 000 health kits imported from India through Mission Pharma.
And Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti yesterday stopped Health Minister Sylvia Masebo from attempting to mock her predecessor Dr Chitaly Chilufya who wanted to know if government had made a formal recall of defective drugs imported from India and were part of the drug kits in health centres.
Ms Masebo told Parliament yesterday that ZAMMSA had been directed to recall all the defective drugs from the 42, 000 health kits by its sister agency the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA).
This was after Dr Chilufya asked Ms Masebo a question of clarification that defective drugs had nothing to do with an effective government but was part of science called pharmacovigilance and was therefore not new.
“It is part of medicine called pharmacovigilance. It is not new. It is not the new dawn administration that has introduced it. I want to support the minister of Health. What has happened cannot be criminalised. We will not politicise this issue. Has the Government done a formal recall of letromythene?” Dr Chilufya who is also PF Mansa Central MP asked.
But in response Ms Masebo quipped: “This is not about science. It is not a recall. The problem is that some people want to act smart.”
Speaker Nelly Mutti immediately chipped in and said Dr Chilufya had asked the question in good faith and there was nothing political about it.
The original question was from PF Bahati MP Leevan Chibombwe who wanted to know what Government would do with the drug procured from Mission Pharma of India because it had failed quality test as it was not dissolving when swallowed or even in a glass of water.
Ms Masebo then explained that Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) had been directed to recall that drug from the 42,000 health kits by its sister agency the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA).
She said it was not strange to procure defective medicines as such happened even from a good supplier such as Mission Pharma and so it will not stop dealing with them.
“Zambia has dealt with Mission Pharma for two decades but somewhere along the way, they fell off because PF failed to pay them their money but when we came in, we renegotiated. If the pharmacy is not keeping the drug well, it can lose its efficacy,” she said.
Ms Masebo said this in response to PF Chitambo MP Remember Mutale who wanted to know if the Government would continue to deal with Mission Pharma.
“Like any business, some suppliers do unethical things. But when you have a government which does not tolerate corruption, people are safe. The future is bright. Zambians are safer under HH and UPND government,” she said.