Tanzania makes move on irregular sale of P2, abortion pills

Tanzania’s government will begin cracking down on pharmacies and other businesses that offer P2 emergency contraception pills and misoprostol abortion pills without a prescription. 

The declaration was made at a general meeting of the Pharmaceutical Society of Tanzania by Ms Elizabeth Shekalaghe, the Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, who noted that the pharmaceuticals can be sold but only on prescription. 

“Despite the challenges we face in controlling the illicit trafficking of medicines, it has been identified that dangerous tabs such as misoprostol and P2 are being used contrary to the government’s intentions,” she said.

She also urged members of the public to report businesses that are unlawfully selling pharmaceuticals.

“I remind all professionals, even in the pharmacies that are allowed to sell P2 and misoprostol, it’s good to keep accurate records so that when authorities pass by they will know on what basis these medicines were issued,” she said.

Minister of Health Dr Dorothy Gwajima, speaking at the same conference, instructed that pharmacists who violate Tanzania’s norms and regulations be prosecuted.

“How come medicines that require a doctor’s certificate are issued against the rules? Take strict action against them, and also amend the laws and regulations governing the issue of prescription and issuance of medical certificates,” said Dr Gwajima.

Key pharmacies, according to Chief Government Pharmacist Daudi Msasi, sell drugs like P2.

“Citizens are complaining that we have failed to protect them against these medicines. The result is that young people are using them incorrectly. Remember these pharmacies have used your professional certificates to operate, but they are the ones that lead in selling drugs illegally,” he said.

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