THE Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency has released a consignment of Honeybee drugs that had been quarantined for failing quality assurance test, News Diggers has learnt.

According to whistleblowers, some Paracetamol drugs which were supposed to be part of the Health Centre kits were delivered as a single commodity in Kabwe and it was not clear how many other Hospitals received the Honeybee drugs.

When contacted to explain the development, ZAMMSA said the Agency needed more time to prepare a response to the Press Query.

And Pharmacist Jerome Kanyika says the country needs to know who authorised ZAMMSA to distribute the Honeybee drugs after the supply contract had been cancelled.

In an interview, Kanyika said he was aware that some Honeybee drugs were delivered to Kabwe Central Hospital on this week.

“We have some Honeybee products that were released. These were received yesterday [Tuesday] in Kabwe actually by Kabwe Central Hospital. We have some Paracetamol 100mg and also Paracetamol 500mg from Honeybee. The shocking thing is as we all understand, and it is in the public domain that the contract for Honeybee was cancelled by the government. Now if the contract was cancelled by government, why should Honeybee products be released to a government facility or to the members of the public? As you know, the first Paracetamol that came from Honeybee failed the quality assurance test then they replaced it with the new batch of Paracetamol that again failed the quality test,” he said.

“So the release of the Honeybee products has a lot of questions in that the products that have been released failed the quality assurance test. So what is the new government trying to say to the members of the public on the promise to say they would protect against any form of fake drugs supplied like the Honeybee products? Now we are in the new dawn administration but Honeybee products that failed the test by ZAMRA are out. How are they going to protect the public against consuming fake drugs? It is something that we all need to worry and we need to question.”

Kanyika said the Honeybee drugs needed to be recalled as they were not safe for public consumption.

“Who authorised the people at ZAMMSA to release these poisons to the members of the public? The people of Kabwe and Zambia at large deserve better medication. How can Honeybee itself which supplied fake drugs allow their products to be released to the public? As you know very well, the case of Honeybee and government is in the courts of law so why should their products be given over to the public? I think that is something we all need to speak against and need to ask the government to make sure that all the drugs that were released to the hospital must be sent back to quarantine because they are fake. The information that we have is that the drugs are not suitable for human consumption,” said Kanyika.

Responding to a press query which was sent on Wednesday, ZMMSA public relations manager Patricia Ndulinga told this journalist on Thursday evening that the Agency’s response was not read at the time and maybe ready today.