HONEYBEE Pharmacy Limited has submitted to the Lusaka High Court that the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) is not treating it fairly because over 70 other companies which procured goods out of specifications are not being put on the spotlight.

Honeybee Pharmacy Limited has further argued that ZAMRA has been conducting unfair practices towards it (Honeybee) as only six products of the 60 products supplied by it were flagged as being out of specification.

This is a matter in which Honeybee Pharmacy Limited has sued ZAMRA in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order to forbid the authority from revoking its license.

Honeybee Pharmacy Limited, which is being represented by Tutwa S Ngulube & Company, is seeking an order of interim injunction to restrain ZAMRA by itself, servants, agents or whomsoever from revoking its Pharmaceutical License and publishing any information on social media and other platforms calculated at injuring its reputation.

It also wants an order that the matter be referred to arbitration as per the provisions of the contract governing the relationship between Honeybee Pharmaceuticals Limited and the procuring entity, costs and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.

But in its defence filed on February 12, 2021, ZAMRA submitted that samples of medicines and allied substances which were supplied by Honeybee were analyzed according to recognised International standards and were found to be out of specification to the set criteria.

It also stated that it acted within its statutory mandate in all the actions it took in verifying the quality of medical products supplied by Honeybee Pharmacy Limited.

ZAMRA further submitted that Honeybee Pharmacy Limited was never granted any licence by ZAMRA, but that the authority only granted a licence to Honeybee Pharmacy, a sole trader, which was struck off and deregistered on April 1, 2020.

However, in its reply filed on February 18, 2021, Honeybee Pharmacy Limited argued that ZAMRA’s decision to state that Honeybee Pharmacy Limited does not have a license was an afterthought.

It stated that the contract between it and the Ministry of Health which was contract No. MO: MOH /SP/032/19-02 could not be avoided as it was the genesis of the actions of ZAMRA and was the basis for the authority’s illegal steps.

Honeybee Pharmacy Limited stated that the products contested by ZAMRA were tested by the said ZAMRA and Zambia Bureau of Standards and that an acceptance certificate was issued in favour of Honeybee Pharmacy Limited.

It further stated that the samples of the products it supplied were supposed to be analysed by laboratories accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations laid down procedures which none of the laboratories used by ZAMRA met aforemtioned criteria.

“The samples of the products supplied by Honeybee Phamarcy Limited were tested over a dozen times by a dozen laboratories accredited by WHO and each of them produced results in contradiction to ZAMRA’s results. ZAMRA did not abide by its statutory authority in its dealings with Honeybee Phamarcy Limited as the actions claimed by ZAMRA have been committed by 70 others companies that had a similar contract with the Ministry of Health but ZAMRA has subjectively selected to hinder and interfere with the transactions of Honeybee Phamarcy Limited,” Honeybee stated.

“ZAMRA was harmoniously dealing with Honeybee Pharmacy Limited as they precleared the drugs of Honeybee Pharmacy Limited and cannot distance themselves from the dealings now as that is unfair and prejudicial to Honeybee Pharmacy Limited.”

Honeybee Pharmacy Limited further stated that the actions of ZAMRA were injurious to it and that they should be stopped from proceeding with the actions against it.

It also stated that the Zambia Bureau of Standards Laboratory and Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe were not accredited to WHO, and that based on the aforementioned the results of their tests were seriously contested and highly questionable.

“ZAMRA is targeting Honeybee Pharmacy Limited because, over 70 companies have procured goods out of specifications but ZAMRA has waived the same. ZAMRA has been conducting and continues to conduct unfair practices towards Honeybee Pharmacy Limited as only six products of the 60 products supplied by Honeybee Pharmacy Limited were flagged as being out of specifications, but ZAMRA against this fact uttered statements to the public which suggest that over 32 products of those supplied by Honeybee Pharmacy Limited were defective and out of specifications,” stated Honeybee Pharmacy Limited.