–The Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) has warned all unregistered drug store owners in the country to register their shops with the authority or face the law.
PRA Public Relations Officer Ludovic Mwape said it is important for the drug stores to be registered as opposed to operating illegally.
Mr Mwape said the shops that the authority would be shutting down are those that are not registered with PRA and regulated with the current Pharmaceutical Act no. 3 of 2013.
He told ZANIS in a telephone interview in Lusaka today that drug stores that are not registered should visit the PRA offices to collect the application forms after which they would also be regulated.
Mr Mwape explained that the people that would be selling the said medicines under the current law are medical personnel such nurses or clinical officers country wide.
He said that under the current Act, the authority is going to identify places that would allow ordinary people to sell the medicine under the supervision of a pharmacist.
“We will identify places where certain categories of people that are not medical personnel would sell the drugs under the supervision of pharmacists,” he said.
He disclosed that the registered shops would be called health shops.
Mr Mwape said the current Pharmaceutical Act no. 3 of 2013 requires that all medicines intended to be marketed in Zambia be registered and granted a product licence issued by the PRA.
He explained that this is to ensure that the medicines being made available to the Zambian community are safe.
Last month, government through the Ministry of Health threatened to shut all drug dispensers.
Deputy Minister of Health, Patrick Chikusu said government is disturbed that most drug stores in the country do not have qualified personnel.
Dr Chikusu said government had intensified inspections of drug stores and would prosecute all drug store owners who would be found wanting.