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NDA declares popular herbal drug unsafe

By Carol Kasujja

Added 22nd January 2019 06:24 PM

Sex-enhancing drugs and products are some of the most counterfeited medicines in the country today

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The herbal medicine is derived primarily from the roots of the pomegranate plant.

Sex-enhancing drugs and products are some of the most counterfeited medicines in the country today

In news that will come as a shock to scores of Ugandans who have used Kukumanga medicine, the National Drug Authority (NDA) has called upon the public to beware of the drug and desist from using it.

NDA warns that the herbal medicine purported to cure diabetes, sleeping sickness, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, asthma, bad breath and other chronic diseases has not been tested for safety and efficacy by them.

“Contrary to advertisements carried out by these herbalists on radios and in busy trading centres, majority of these medicines are not registered and is endangering the lives of unsuspecting users. We have never interacted with the promoters of the medicine therefore we do not know them,” said Hellen Ndagije, the head of product safety at NDA.

Ndagije noted that when taken in small doses and for a long time, counterfeited drugs may lead to chronic complications. She also noted that sex-enhancing drugs and products are some of the most counterfeited medicines in the country today.

“Despite brisk business in counterfeit sex performance drugs, a majority of these herbal products are neither registered nor have any proven active ingredients,” noted Ndagije.

“We urge members of the public not to be hoodwinked by these unscrupulous people and instead liaise with NDA to verify if the medicines have been tested and registered for use in the country,” noted Gilbert Kwarija, the acting NDA spokesperson.

In December, Uganda National Bureau of Standards opened a probe into an energy drink that left a man with an erection that lasted for six hours.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines counterfeit medicine as “one which is deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled with respect to identity or source”. These include both branded and generic products, which can be faked.

Medicines in this category have been found to either contain the wrong dose of active ingredients or none at all, or to have a completely different ingredient.

The global health entity estimates that about 100,000 deaths a year in Africa are linked to the counterfeit drug trade.

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