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Pharmacies defy govt ban on sex steroids

by Staff reporter
18 Oct 2014 at 21:31hrs | Views
PHARMACIES in the country are selling banned sex steroids which have severe effects on users, defying a government directive that banned the selling of the performance enhancement pills late last year.

Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), the country's sole medicine regulator, banned the selling of male sexual performance enhancers late last year citing that the medicines contained dangerous chemicals.

Investigations revealed that many pharmacies in the city are selling the steroids through the black market. The steriods are not displayed over the counter but when one needs them, they can buy them from the pharmacists.

Male sexual performance enhancers that are still on the street are Wild Horse, Niagra, Ciagra, and Power one. Their cost varies  least costs $5. Some of the banned substances are OTO chao simengnan, super powerful man, Rock hard weekend, M-energex.

"As you can see, the medicine is not sold over the counter. People still want the medicine and we cannot resist that," said a local Pharmacist. "We go with the flow and when people want the medicine we offer them but we cannot sell it over the counter because they (medicines) were banned."

Another pharmacist said the government will have torrid time in enforcing the ban.

"The medicine is on demand," said an official from QV pharmacy, "the medicine was banned and we are no longer selling it because we are afraid of being sued. These steroids were imported during the hyper inflation era and some pharmacies are still selling them."

MCAZ spokesperson, Richard Rukwata said pharmacies are violating the law and are putting people's lives in danger.

Rukwata said the steriods are highly addictive and excessive use can be detrimental to one's health.

"We are not approving, and have not approved any substances that fall within this category of substances," he said.

"The products were presented to the authority for determination of registerability as nutritional supplements with vague statements such as increasing "stamina," without any overt claims for increasing libido and yet they were subsequently marketed as libido enhancing agents.

"The supplements claimed 100 percent herbal content yet evidence from the USA and Australia indicate that the majority of them contained undeclared phosphodiesterase 5(PDE5)inhibitors (sildenafil,tadalafil,verdalafil) or their analogues."

Phosphodiesterase is an active ingredient in the drug which the regulatory authority says should be registered.

"People should not just sell these sex steroids. It must be proven by us that the medicine is not harmful to people and if these drugs contain phosphodeisterase, it should be regulated where scientific evidence should be presented," said Rukwata.

"We do not want a situation where by people claim that these drugs contain phosphodiesterase yet it contain some dangerous ingredient that harm people."

Source - Radio Dialogue