Aids activists challenge uBhejane

2010-07-01 00:00

THE Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is calling on the Health Department’s law enforcement unit to investigate Zebulon Gwala for his repeated claims that his mixture, uBhejane, is registered with the Medicines Control Council (MCC).

Mr Gwala claims that uBhejane will increase the CD4 count and decrease viral load of people living with HIV.

In a statement on Tuesday, the TAC said it believes that Gwala has acted in breach of the Medicines Act and that he should be charged.

Despite Gwala’s claims, the Health Department has consistently stated that the mixture is not registered.

“There is no evidence that uBhejane is of any benefit to people with HIV.”

Despite the department’s rejection of the claim, the MCC has not yet publicly stated its position.

All anti-viral drugs must be registered by the MCC before they are marketed in South Africa. Section 14(1) of the Medicines Act prohibits the sale of medicines that are subject to registration and are not registered. In addition, section 29(b) makes it clear that “any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of section 14(1) shall be guilty of an offence”, reads the statement.

TAC has previously lodged a complaint about uBhejane with the Health Department’s law enforcement unit , but nothing has come of it.

Yesterday, national Health Department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe warned against misleading people about the mixture.

“In line with the MCC procedures, a request for the registration of this product has been lodged with the council. Until such registration has been finalised, any person involved with the production, marketing, distribution and sale of uBhejane should desist from making false claims that the product has been registered.

“For a registration of any medicinal product to be finalised, a registration certificate signed by the Registrar of Medicines has to be issued to that effect,” said Hadebe.

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