Zimbabwe in dire shortage of medicines, allows pharmacies to import
Strict regulations have been put in place to allow pharmaceutical companies to import medicines as Zimbabwe faces dire shortages.
In a Circular 23 of 2022, published on the 28th of November, seen by Nehanda Radio, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) said it was facilitating access to prescription preparations and other essential medicines.
This comes after authority had received a number of requests from pharmacies to import medicines for the purposes of meeting the requirements of their customers and the public .
Accordingly, MCAZ published the Circular 23 of 2022 to holders of Premises Licences for Retail, Hospital and Restricted Pharmacies, announcing measures taken to alleviate the current shortages of essential medicines.
“The Authority would like to facilitate access to prescription preparations and other essential medicines. Ordinarily medicines are imported by holders of wholesale dealers’ permits for distribution to pharmacies.
“The Authority has noted the increasing number of requests from pharmacies to import medicines for the purposes of meeting the requirements of their customers and the public at large,” read the circular.
“The importation of registered medicines is already provided for in SI 57 of 2008, and the Authority would like pharmacies to note the following:
“1. Applications for Import Permits in terms of Section 2(b) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control (Import & Exports of Medicines) Regulations 2008 (SI 57 of 2008).
“1.1 This procedure applies to registered medicines. Such products are expected to conform to approved labelling requirements and must be manufactured at approved sites.”
The authority further stated that a maximum of ten (10) products will be permitted per permit.
“1.3 The products imported in terms of this process are intended for use by the importing institution or professional. 1.4 The fees for the import permit will be in accordance with the prevailing fee schedule
“Temporary Authorization for Importation of Bulk Medicines in Terms of Section 75 of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act (Chapter 15:03) (MASCA).
“Section 75 of MASCA allows the Authority to set aside the provisions of the Act such as registration requirements as a precondition to importation of a medicine.
“It is used by the Authority to sanction the importation of products that are not on the Medicines Register but have been prescribed by a registered medical practitioner for a particular patient,” read the circular.