Three arrested selling fake Covidex in Kampala

Covidex bottles: The medicine was recently approved for treatment of Covid-19 in Uganda

The National Drug Authority (NDA) has arrested three people in Kampala for selling a fake Covidex herbal medicine, a concoction that is approved last week for use in the treatment of viral infections including Covid-19.

The suspects are Daniel Lule, a clinical medical officer at St Peter’s Clinic Nansana, Samuel Waswa, a barber at Brotherhood Saloon in Wandegeya, and Allan Kaitala working with Softex Agro-chemicals East African Ltd in Container village.

According to NDA, the three were arrested during a 12-day operation crackdown on pharmacies and drug shops selling fake drugs.

James William Tamale, the NDA Greater Kampala Regional Manager told journalists in the news conference at the NDA offices in Kampala that the three suspects are being detained at Wandegeya Police Station under File number SD/ref/30/04/07/2021 and face charges of carrying out an illegal business of pharmacist.

“We confiscated 300 bottles of fake Covidex which we found them selling from their homes. All this was successful after an intelligence which we got and successfully nabbed them,” he said.

The suspects will be charged as per section 14 (3) of the National Drug Policy and Authority (NDA&A) Act Cap 206.

“Their file has already been forwarded to the State Attorney and they will soon be aligned before Courts of Law.

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The 12 days’ operation he said was conducted in the five Divisions of Kampala, where 382 drug outlets were inspected.

“Of these, 169 were Pharmacies, 152 drug shops, and 59 Clinics. Of the vested pharmacies, 156 were licensed, and 13 were issued with closure notices.

48 drug shops were performing clinical services in unsuitable premises and were issued with closure notices.

“We also issued closure notices to 14 clinics for displaying medicines and operating unlicensed pharmacies within their premises,” he said.

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“During this operation, we were mindful of the current situation of the lockdown and increased drug needs and therefore our level of strict enforcement was lenient. “We used administrative measures to deal with several issues and we only impounded the drugs of extreme cases of illegalities. For example, drug outlets which had renewed their licenses were only given closure notice, considering the current mobility challenges but advised comply within 30 days.”

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