A joint operation between the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and the police this week uncovered an illegal distribution network of unregistered and expired medicines including illicit products such as skin-lightening creams in the farming town of Karowe in Mashoneland Western Province.

The raid, which took place on Monday of this week, led to the arrest of the suspects and the confiscation of some medicines.

This campaign was part of government efforts to reduce the sale, consumption and distribution of dangerous drugs and medicines in Zimbabwe.

MCAZ Director General Richard Rukwata said in a statement that the attack He discovered a large-scale illegal operation involving the sale of unregistered, expired and illegally distributed medicines, including body-altering products such as skin-lightening creams. “The raid led to the discovery of unregistered medicines, expired medicines and even registered medicines being sold illegally. In addition, skin lightening creams and other body transformation products were found.

“These medications were sold from flea market counters, car boot sales among other unauthorized places. All of the medications were handled by unlicensed individuals.

“As a result of our joint efforts, the suspects were arrested and handed over to the Public Prosecution, and all recovered medications were confiscated.”

Rukwata said the operation was part of the authorities’ ongoing enforcement activities targeting identified hotspots where individuals involved in the illegal distribution of unregistered medicines, expired medicines and other illicit medical products conduct their business.

“MCAZ remains committed to ensuring the safety and integrity of pharmaceutical products available to the public. Such collaborative actions underscore our dedicated efforts to reduce drug and substance abuse across the country while maintaining regulatory standards and protecting public health,” he said.

Rukwata called on the public to report any suspicious pharmaceutical activities to help create a safer environment for all Zimbabweans.

“We urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious pharmaceutical activities to the authorities. Together, we can combat the distribution of unregistered and expired medicines, and promote a safer environment for all Zimbabweans,” he told Newsday.

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