Minister Tumwebaze sets team to investigate fake drugs

KAMPALA – Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has appointed a special team to carry out investigations on the alleged fake drugs in the market.

“We have put up a technical committee to study these issues of supply chain and other factors responsible for improving tick resistance. Farmers buy the drugs from the market but we want to study why farmers do not get value from their acaricides,” Tumwebaze said.

The Minister encouraged publicizing authorized drug shops allowed to sell agrichemicals to the farmers.

“I want to let you know that MAAIF, working with National Drug Authority (NDA), is going to intensify through the district authorities to publicize the registered veterinary outlets and authorized drug sellers and distributors such that farmers take personal responsibility before buying the drugs,” said Tumwebaze.

“If we don’t intensify our registration and publication of authorized drug sellers, fake drugs will continue to litter the market. The low prices will lure farmers and eventually suffocate them with poor outcomes,” he added.

Hon Tumwebaze further said, in the coming days MAAIF and NDA will issue and publicize all the registered pharmacies, veterinary drug stores through mass media and social media.

“We should know the drug pharmacies and veterinary drug shops licensed such that if you buy a drug from there, and it’s not working, you are able to report and we will hold that store accountable so as to crackdown on the entire chain,” Tumwebaze emphasized.

He also threatened to de-register all veterinary drug outlets stocking fake drugs.

“If they are the type of vet doctors who go and buy anything from container village yet they are licensed, then they risk losing their licenses and suffer associated legal penalties,” Tumwebaze said.

He appealed to farmers to patiently wait for the possible solutions to the alleged fake drugs.

“Just to let you know, we have not rested, the struggle continues and we are still waiting for the committees’ report to guide us on formulating our policy and regulatory reforms that is backed by evidence from experts,” adds Minister Tumwebaze.

Hon Frank Tumwebaze confirmed that there could be fake drugs used to treat animals in Uganda.

He said that he is shocked with the rate at which farmers are reporting about fake inputs in the Uganda market.

“I want to let you know that Ministry of Agriculture has noted with concern the growing number of reports on counterfeit agricultural drugs. The problem is mainly in the veterinary sector but also to some extent in the agricultural sector and most of the drugs do not have the required levels of efficacy,” Tumwebaze explained.

However, during the Farmers’ Parliament in Kiruhura, Abiaz Rwamwiri, the Public Relations Manager National Drug Authority insisted that the authority ensures that all drugs which are on the Uganda market both human and veterinary are of good quality, safe and working well.

“What we control are either drugs manufactured here or imported, and those we are sure that by the time they are imported, we have analyzed them and they are safer and meet the standards they are supposed to be,” said Rwamwiri.

He also reported that its possible fake drugs are still being sneaked into the country through porous borders.

“It doesn’t mean that there are no issues of counterfeit because some of them actually are smuggled into the country especially through the porous borders of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania,” says Rwamwiri.

Speaking to James Ndibajuna, the Chairman Abesigana Kashari Dairy Farmers Co-op Ltd, blamed fake drugs on government’s changes in the ministries.

“Initially all acaricides were under MAAIF but today there are some which are regulated under Ministry of Health. Do you think the health of people is equal to the health of animals? ” explains Ndibajuna.

He added that counterfeit inputs have escalated due to the private sector taking full charge of Uganda’s market.

“The government decided that this is a decentralized government, so everyone is free to bring in his drugs and manufacturers. Different companies will produce similar drugs but with a different quality,” Ndibajuna said.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country- wide vending points or an e-copy on

The post Minister Tumwebaze sets team to investigate fake drugs appeared first on The Cooperator News.