The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority(ZAMRA) has observed with great concern an increase in advertisement of unauthorized
medicines and allied substances in print and electronic media, inclusive of social media platforms such as, Facebook, WhatsApp and in public places.
Therefore, the Authority wishes to remind the general public that advertising of unapproved medicines and allied substances as well as placement of unapproved
advertisements in print, electronic or other media is punishable by law.
In addition, all media houses are advised to request for evidence of approval from ZAMRA for any advertisement of a medicine or allied substance before publishing or running such advertisements.
In most cases, the quality, safety and efficacy for such medicines and allied substances
has not been verified by the Authority.
These products pose a major public health risk as
they lack scientific evidence to support the therapeutic claims.
The effects of such
products range from lack of effectiveness to life-threatening adverse events.
They also have negative economic impact on unsuspecting members of the public who
spend their hard-earned resources on products that have no proven safety or efficacy.
Members of the public are therefore cautioned to be aware that the primary motivation
behind the advertisement of such products is promotion of sales for profit.
The law requires that for a medicine or allied substance to be placed on the Zambian
market, it must meet the set standards of quality, safety and efficacy.
Sections 39 (1) and
45(1) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act (MASA) No. 3 of 2013 provides that:
“A person shall not place on the market, advertise, market, manufacture, sell, import, supply, administer or deal in any manner with any medicine or allied substance without a
marketing authorisation issued by the Authority.
An advertisement of any medicine or allied substance shall conform to the information
relating to the medicine or allied substance approved by the Authority and as specified in
the marketing authorisation”; respectively.
The Authority will continue undertaking routine inspections and monitoring of such adverts
and will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone found wanting as per MASA No.3
The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) is mandated by law to, among other things, authorise and monitor the advertisement of medicines and allied substances,
thereby ensuring that the disseminated information is consistent with what was approved
by the Authority.
This is contained in a statement issued to Kwacha newspaper by Zambia medicines Regulatory Senior Public Relations officer Christabel Mutale Iliamupu.