TFDA accusations intensify fake HIV drug row

TPI antiretroviral bottleThe Tanzanian regulator has intensified the fake HIV drug row by accusing TPI of manufacturing the counterfeit drugs.

Hiiti Sillo, director general of Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), told journalists he has documents showing Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries (TPI) produced the fake drugs. TPI is continuing to strongly deny the allegations.

"We would like to categorically distance ourselves from the allegations. The said drugs did not emanate from from TPI and are made using technology which we do not have in our factory," Zarina Madabida, TPI executive director, told local publication Daily News.

The counterfeit antiretrovirals (ARVs) are reportedly a different colour and shape from those made by TPI. Also, the fakes used different bottles, TPI said last week, claiming it lacks the technology to make the counterfeits. Since the fakes were distributed TPI has undergone two inspections, neither of which found counterfeits, Madabida said.

TFDA officials visited TPI last week and confirmed the company has halted drug production. The regulator asked TPI to suspend manufacture of all its products earlier this month.

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