MINISTRY of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Professor Luckson Kasonka says he is yet to receive an official report on a bottle of Co-Trimoxazole which contained foreign elements in Mwinilunga District, North Western Province.
Recently ZAMRA wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health on a report that a battery and spring were found in a bottle of Co-Trimoxazole.
But in an interview, Prof Kasonka said he had heard about the matter but that no official report had reached his office yet.
“I have heard that as a rumour and no official position has been brought to me really. I heard about something found in a bottle, (but) no official report has been presented to the office. I have heard that from two other people but it is not official. If it is official, the provincial health director should have written to me. So I have heard about that, that is two weeks ago, but no official report has come to my desk, because if it is true, it should be written to me. So it is just a rumour I have heard from you, another person told me, so I have said is it true or someone was just playing…because who can put things like that? So I am saying for me, it is still a rumour and I have been waiting for official confirmation from ZAMMSA,” said Prof Kasonka.
In a letter dated December 31, 2021 addressed to the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) acting director Makomani Siyanga said the Authority received the report on December 24, last year.
He stated that the Authority could not rule out the possibility of the foreign materials having been placed inside the bottle when the medicine was in the custody of the end user.
“Sir, we wish to inform you that on 24th December, 2021, the Authority received a report of a suspected medicine quality problem on Cotrikant (Paediatric Co-Trimoxazole Oral Suspension BP 240m9/5ml) batch No. P820091 from Mwinilunga District Health Office. The report stated that foreign materials, namely a spring and a battery, were found in a bottle of Cotrikant Suspension. The product is manufactured by S Kant Health Ltd, India, supplied by Missionpharma Zambia Limited and distributed by the Zambia Medicines, and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA),” stated Siyanga.
“The Authority conducted an investigation to ascertain whether or not there was adequate evidence to suggest that the product was adulterated with foreign materials at the time of dispensing. However, this could not be established because the person who submitted the report to the health facility had opened the bottle prior to returning it to the health facility. Therefore, we had no way of verifying at which point the product was adulterated. The rest of the bottles at the reporting facility did not contain foreign material. We could not rule out the possibility of the foreign materials to have been placed inside the bottle when the medicine was in the custody of the end user.”