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National Drugs Authority raises red flag over Eloipharm’s Herbal Viagra

The NDA Spokesperson Mr Abiaz Rwamwiri says the list of what the product can do was unclear and that the authority had not yet approved it for public consumption.

An assortment of Elo-Enjoy, a herbal Viagra that has been red-flagged by NDA

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The National Drug Authority (NDA) has cautioned the public on the consumption of Elo-Enjoy, a sexual-arousing herbal medicine manufactured by Eloipharm (U) Ltd in Kalerwe, a Kampala suburb.

Mr Abiaz Rwamwiri, the NDA spokesperson says the maker of the medicine rushed the product to the market despite having had the initial name of the product rejected by the authority.

Rwamizi while speaking to a local newspaper (DailyMonitor) on Tuesday said even the list of what the product can do when the maker presented it before was unclear and that the authority had not yet approved it for public consumption.

“The maker also made alarming claims that the product can solve erectile dysfunction and increase water in women –these claims are far-fetched. So we changed that the product helps to improve male and female vitality,” Rwamizi said, before adding; “The main problem has been sneaking the product to the market before it is approved and after the regulation it confuses the public.”

A flyer advertising the Herbal Viagra that has been red-flagged by NDA. PHOTO/FILE

According to the NDA Register, last updated May 2023, the local traditional herbal drug was approved by the authority under the product name “Elo-Enjo” instead of “Elo-Enjoy” which the maker had proposed.

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Dr Stephen Lutoti, the Director Eloipharm and a Senior Pharmacist and lecturer at Makerere University who formulated the controversial medicinal herb says NDA changed the product’s initial name.

“The issue of the product name is trivial. I would be interested if there were concerns around ingredients and the safety of the product,” Dr Lutoti said, adding that; as Eloipharm, they want to inform clients about what the product does as it is with other synthetic drugs.

Established under the National Drug Policy and Authority (NDP/A) Act, Cap. 206, the core mandate of NDA is to ensure the availability, at all times, of essential, efficacious and cost-effective drugs to the entire population of Uganda as a means of providing satisfactory healthcare and safeguarding the appropriate use of drugs.

The authority has in the past been struggling to address the influx of unapproved, counterfeit and adulterated herbal medicines and synthetic drugs as businessmen aim to maximise sales, most of which have become prevalent on the market.

Last year, the NDA said it suspended the production and distribution of alcoholic products sold under the brand name “Stronger Weekend” because of their Viagra content. 

In 2021, M-Magix coffee with erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil citrate was also detected and banned by NDA. 

Dr James William Tamale, the NDA head of regional offices, explained that the manufacture of such adulterated products is driven by market demands.

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“People will always work based on people’s psychology and what people need or think they need and try to do that. And in so doing, they break laws as they are doing now. But it is the duty of various regulatory agencies to carry out their roles to mitigate dangers,” he said.



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