By Namugerwa Martha
The National Drug Authority (NDA) has issued a warning over two fake cancer drugs being sold on the Ugandan market after coming across some of them from a hawker near the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI).
In statement, NDA spokesman, Mr Frederick Ssekyana said that the hawker who was arrested near the UCI on July 17 was selling Sutent and Avastin drugs and its estimated that the drugs have been on the market for some time now.
“The falsified products were being sold around by unscrupulous dealer near various cancer treatment centres such as the Uganda Cancer Institute,” Ssekyana said.
He added that the branding of the fake drug is faulty because the dealers claim it is manufactured in Sweden by Astrazeneca yet genuine Sutent drugs are manufactured by a Pfizer.
“We would like to inform health service providers and the public that it has some unregistered and counterfeit medicines; Sutent (sunitinib malate) tablets packed in plastic jar on the market that bears the following features: Sutent 12.5mg, Batch no. NC 1060 Expiry date: 02/2019 are on the market,” Ssekyana added.
Additionally, Ssekyana said the drugs are supplied only as hard gelatin capsules as opposed to the bluish-grey tablets being sold by unscrupulous individuals around UCI and avastin in a plastic jar.
“Genuine Avastin is registered and manufactured by Roche based in Germany and Switzerland and it’s manufactured as an injection for intravenous use while the fake Avastin is being presented as bluish-grey tablets reportedly manufactured in Sweden by AstraZeneca 2014 Astrazeneca and Turbuhaler under trademarks of Astrazeneca Group of Companies,” Ssekyana added.
However, Ssekyana advised all pharmacies, health providers and the public to exercise caution and vigilance while handling medicines and to report any illegal suppliers of medicine to NDA.