Traditional Medicines Adverts to be Vetted, Approved Before Broadcast in Malawi

Josia said the medicine dealers and broadcasters in the country have until 31 July 2023 to comply with the requirement Josia said the medicine dealers and broadcasters in the country have until 31 July 2023 to comply with the requirement

Broadcasting of advertisements relating to traditional and complementary medicines will have to seek approval from government effect 1 August 2023.

Spokesperson for Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA), Joseph Josia told Zodiak Online on Wednesday that they will jointly carry out the enforcement with the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in accordance with the laws to ensure there is no false information in all broadcasting channels and platforms.

Josia said the medicine dealers and broadcasters in the country have until 31 July 2023 to comply with the requirement.

Josia has indicated that among others, anyone found guilty of contravening section 106 of PMRA Act is liable to pay a K10 million fine and serve a 10-year imprisonment sentence.

He admits that the false adverts have subjected the public to harmful traditional medicine products since there was no compliance of the 2019 regulatory requirement.

"What has been happening is that there has been some sort of non-compliance. So, what we are saying now we have given the dealers of medicines and broadcasters up to 31 July to comply with this requirement, come 1 August we will start the joint enforcement," he said.

On his part, President for International Traditional Medicines Council of Malawi, Robins Zaniku has acknowledged that their sector needs sanity.

Zaniku has however suggested for a roundtable discussion with authorities for a better solution since the enforcement will affect business of the genuine members.

"We were supposed to be invited as organisations which have members so that we could come up with one solution. It's true, there are some people who came into this business to dupe people," he said.

Of late, the public spaces especially on trees and media channels have been flooded with medicinal adverts claiming that they heal ailments that have braved the clinical treatments, such as BP, cancer and even HIV.

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