TPI Says They Didn’t Do It

12 10 2012

Dr. Hussein Mwinyi – The Minister for Health and Social Welfare

A couple days ago I potsed a blog on Tanzania and how they are handling fake drugs. HERE IS AN UPDATE…  TPI (The Arusha-based Tanzania Pharmaceuticals Industries) executive director, Mrs. Zarina Mabadia issued a statement saying, “We would like to categorically distance ourselves from the allegations. The said drugs did not emanate from TPI and are made using technology which we do not have in our factory.” She continues to say they do not have the technology to make round shaped tablets (theirs are oval) and to make them two colored. And they do not manufacture their own packaging – they order it. The government has issued that their factory be shut down.

TPI’s reaction came a day afterthe Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, halted production at the TPI and suspended three top officials at the Medical Stores Department (MSD) from producing and distributing fake ARVs. Dr. Hussein noted, after tests were conducted, that ARV drugs that were manufactured in March 2011 with an expiration date of February 2013 were fake and there are documentations showing that TPI sold it to MSD. Mrs. Mabadia is saying the drugs are not theirs and they are not manufacturing fake pharmaceuticals. She is wondering why it took them so long to find the fake ones. She is denying these allegations saying that, “We had our products submitted to MSD and all quality assurance tests were done and it is about 15 months now since we distributed the drugs and in between, two inspections have been conducted and no fake drugs were found.”

Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries (TPI) Deputy Managing Director Zarina Madabida

To her, it seems to be political. “The timing of this scandal brings lots of questions because we have just finished construction of a state of the art factory in Arusha worth 5m Euros and we were expecting to have it launched next month. “We were also expecting to receive a certification from WHO to enable us sell our drugs in international markets,” she said. Since 2007 they have produced over 2.3 million doses of ARVs and has since been the sole producer in the country.

MSD has a Quality Assurance Unit, which is tasked with making sure the drugs are not counterfeit, and they did not do their job. It seems like a bunch of he said she said. We do know that those who use the ARV drugs have been notified and things are supposedly being handled. Already, 9,570 tins of the fake drug have been recalled. Dr. Mwinyi said that they cannot establish harm caused by the drugs, but health centers are alert and will follow up on patients that were taking the drug.

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3 11 2012
TPI Sold Fakes « Counterfeit Drugs Around the World

[…] scandal I’ve been posting about lately. You can read the first post HERE and the second post HERE.   TPI claimed that they were not making fake drugs and that they didn’t have the capacity […]

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