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Buying Medicine in Dar es salaam;Do Pharmacies Follow Regulations?

  • Drugs
  • Regulations
  • Laws
  • Medical Supplies & Logistics


1 Uwazi Monitoring June 2012Brief No. 4 Buying medicines in Dar es Salaam Do pharmacies follow regulati ons? Introducti on Can medicines make us sick? Are they dispensed properly? Is the system of protecti ng people from misuse of medicine working? To answer these questi ons, Youth Initi ati ves Tanzania (YITA), in associati on with Twaweza, investi gated whether pharmacies observe regulati ons regarding sales to consumers. The exercise was carried out in November 2011 through a survey of pharmacies by ‘mystery clients’ in Dar es Salaam. This brief explains what happened during the mystery visits. It shows that, contrary to regulati ons, the majority of pharmacies sell prescripti on medicines without a prescripti on from a doctor. This raises questi ons about how the pharmacy business is monitored in Tanzania, and whether people’s health is adequately protected. By selling drugs and other medical supplies, pharmacies provide a crucial health service. Pharmacies sell two types of medicines: prescripti on drugs, which can only be bought when the pati ent/buyer has an authorized doctor’s prescripti on, and over the counter drugs which can be bought at any ti me and do not require a prescripti on. The fi rst type can cause serious harm when used improperly, and that is why they require a prescripti on. Buying and using prescripti on medicines This note was produced by YITA in associati on with Twaweza, housed by Hivos Tanzania. YITA, P.O. Box 90540, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Telephone: +255 22 240 1426 Email: [email protected] Web: 2 without a doctor’s authority can harm or even poison the individual (e.g. when patients use the wrong medicines or in the wrong dosage) as well as harm other individuals’ health (e.g. by creating resistance to medicines that are not properly used). To prevent abuse of medicines, the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA,, a regulatory body under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has been c

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