Harare – Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has delisted 10 local pharmaceutical dealers accused of promoting the abuse of Histalix coup syrup.
In a Monday statement, the regulator announced it has revoked six operating permits for wholesale dealers and licences for four pharmacists.
Histalix, a locally produced cough mixture, contains codeine, an opioid medicine used for the short-term relief of mild to moderate pain.
The cough syrup, commonly referred to as “Ngoma” or “Mutoriro” in street lingo, has seen many Zimbabwean youths admitted in psychiatric institutions after suffering the effects of abuse.
MCAZ said it was working to get unregistered drug manufacturers and counterfeit drugs off the streets and has classified Histalix cough syrup as a prescription-only drug.
“We aim to prevent the circulation of counterfeit drugs and unregistered substances that can contribute to drug abuse,” said MCAZ in a statement.
“In this regard, the Authority, has revoked 6 permits for wholesale dealers and cancelled 4 persons licences who were promoting abuse of Histalix…by illegally selling it at Mbare and places like Chitungwiza and others were exporting to Zambia and Mozambique.
“The Authority has put in place mechanism to control availability of codeine containing medicines by making the prescription preparations.
“This means that they cannot be dispensed without the provision of a valid prescription.
“However, the Authority notes with concern that over-the-counter medicines from other countries are continuously being imported illegally.”
Histalix cough syrup contains the active ingredients diphenhydramine hydrochloride, ammonium chloride and menthol.
Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride is an antihistamine that is used to provide relief from the effects of an allergy.
Ammonium chloride is an expectorant that helps loosen phlegm and catarrh. Menthol relieves the discomfort of congestion and also provides a cooling effect in mouth and throat. – ZimLive