Concern has been raised over the increase in the number of unlicensed medicinal drug importers who are illegally selling medicines at unregulated locations posing a health hazard to consumers.Most people who resort to buying drugs on the streets are not aware of the dangers contained in some of the drugs.
It has been noted that some women buy oral contraceptive tablets and skin lightening products from vendors on the streets, but what they donâ€™t know is that some of the tablets will be counterfeit drugs.
Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) Legal and Corporate Affairs Assistant Director, Mr. Richard Rukwata said the authority has noted with concern the increase in people who are smuggling drugs into the country and reselling them at undesignated points.
â€œMCAZ is just a regulatory body and we donâ€™t have arresting powers. However, we have noted with concern the increase in the number of people who are smuggling drugs into the country and we have undertaken joint operations with the police from time to time,â€ said Mr. Rukwata.
Another area of concern is the sale of drugs commonly known as appetitos.
Some of the appetitos are believed to enhance oneâ€™s body shape by enlarging the hip, breasts and other parts of the body.
Mr. Rukwata said these drugs are being abused as they are supposed to be used as anti-histamines.
â€œAppetitos are anti-histamines which of course increase appetite. People are abusing these drugs and taking them for the wrong reasons, and putting their lives at risk,â€ he added.
Selling drugs on the black market is a dangerous practice as the medicines may have been subjected to inappropriate and hazardous storage conditions.
Health experts say some of the medicines may be contaminated and in most instances maybe dangerous.