Tanzanian drugmaker asserts innocence in fake ARV case

Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries has insisted it is innocent of any wrongdoing in an incident involving counterfeit antiretroviral drugs that led to a shutdown of its main manufacturing plant.

Earlier this month the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA) stopped all production at the plant and suspended three senior officials at the Medical Stores Department (MSD) - part of the Ministry of Health and the only customer for TPI's HIV drugs - while police started an investigation into the incident.

Yet the drugmaker is calmly maintaining its innocence. In a statement, TPI insists that the fakes were not produced at its plant, and in fact look very different to its own TT-VIR 30 product, being mispelled as TT-VR30 on the label and presented in a round, while and orange bilayer tablet rather than the usual off-white caplet.

TPI fake and genuine drug image

In fact, the difference between the fake and genuine product is so apparent that it would be obvious to anyone, "let alone professional pharmacists or healthcare practitioners", according to the company, adding that it does nt have the technology in-house to produce bilayer tablets.

The police investigations into how more than 10,000 bottles of fake HIV drugs entered the legal supply chain has now been concluded and a dossier filed with the Tanzanian Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

TPI is currently investing around €5m in a new plant in Arusha that will more than double its production capacity and will be the largest sub-Saharan plant outside South Africa.

The company said it was conducting its own investigation into the incident "to determine the motive to discredit the company at this juncture", when its new plant is about to undergo pre-qualification auditing by the World Health Organization (WHO).

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top