NAIROBI: You risk purchasing a falsified emergency contraceptive unless you check the labels carefully, the Ministry of Health has warned.
Through the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, the government has put the general public, health workers and health facilities like chemists and pharmacies on high alert following the discovery of fake Postinor-2 drug, an emergency contraceptive that is used to prevent pregnancy.
“This follows a rapid alert received from World Health Organisation that a falsified Postinor-2 has been discovered in Kampala Uganda,” read the statement from government in part.
To identify the counterfeit contraceptive, the ministry said that public should check on the reverse side of the pack. The falsified contraceptive is said to have a white non-useable “scratch area” on the back side of the pack.
The white “scratch area” is the only feature that the ministry wants the public to be on the look-out for since the batch number, manufacturing and expiry dates match the genuine Postinor-2. The manufactures of the genuine contraceptive, Gedeon Ritcher, have already confirmed that there is a counterfeit drug.
In a communication accompanied by a picture of the fake drug, the board has asked anyone who may have used the contraceptive to seek medical attention immediately.
The ministry has further directed: “If you are in possession of this batch, please do not use it. Contact a Pharmacist or a Doctor as soon as possible for advice and report the incident at Pharmacovigilance Department at Pharmacy and Poisons Board,”
With Uganda having a close proximity to Kenya and less boarder checks, the board is appealing to the public to be extra-vigilance even as it promises to put enough measures in place.
“Our drug inspectors are carrying out investigations on the ground & at Ports of Entry and an e-shot has been sent out to stakeholders to be vigilant over the same,” assured the board in a communication sent to media houses.
The board, which has the sole mandate of regulating the profession of pharmacy to ensure quality and safe medical drugs, is asking the public to contact it on the hotline 0702475976 should they spot the fake product.