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Examples of subregional collaboration: the experience of Operation Mamba I & II in East African Community (EAC) The case of TANZANIAIMPACT Regional Conference, 9-10 Nov 2009Kempton Park, RSA Director, Medicines and Cosmetics Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority
OUTLINE OF THE PRESENTATION • Background • Objectives • Findings • Operation Mamba I, 2008 • Operation Mamba II, 2009 • Lessons learned • Recommendations
Background • September 2007 • Joint taskforce between the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and the Tanzania Police • Joint operations to identify and confiscate counterfeit products • July 2008 • INTERPOL/IMPACT expressed interest to collaborate with Tanzania & Uganda in combating counterfeit medicines • Tanzania Taskforce was expanded, headed by the TFDA and the Police • Fair Competition Commission, Customs Department, President’s Office, Bureau of Standards, Medical Stores Department • Two successful operations “Operation Mamba I & II” in 2008 & 2009 • Jointly funded by INTERPOL, TFDA, Fair Competition Commission, Medical Stores Department and the President’s Office
Objective of the Operation • To identify, confiscate, arrest suspects and take legal action • Targeted drugs • Anti-malarials • Antibiotics • Lifestyle medical products e.g. viagra • Analgesics and related drugs e.g. paracetamol • These drugs were selected because they are used widely in the country (ies) and therefore attract counterfeiting
Operation Mamba 2008: Findings (1) • 191 areas inspected • 69 pharmacies, 5 warehouses, 103 drug stores, 14 other areas • Categories of medicines confiscated • Suspect counterfeit medicines • Expired medicines • Government medicines • Unregistered • Joint Press Conference • Director of Criminal Investigation of the Tanzania Police and Director General of TFDA • The public was informed about the problem of counterfeit medicines in the country and its dangers to public health
Operation Mamba I 2008: Findings (3) • 3 cases were confirmed to be counterfeit including anti-malarial Duo-cotexcin • 44 cases reported to Police Stations • Prosecution:5 • Conviction:1 • Pending:10 • Administrative Action taken: 28
Operation Mamba II, 2009 • March 2009, Dar es Salaam –Tanzania • Training of drug inspectors, customs officers, prosecutors and police officers from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda • June 2009, Nairobi – Kenya • Planning meeting for Operation Mamba II • August 2009, in all countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) • Operation Mamba II conducted in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda • Simultaneous Press Release in all countries to inform the public on the outcome of the operation • September 2009, Kampala - Uganda • Post operation meeting to review outcome of the operation and plans for next steps
Operation Mamba II 2009: Findings in Tanzania • 70 trained drug inspectors & law enforcers deployed in 5 major cities • 142 premises inspected • 315 different types of medicines (~$ 7,000) were confiscated • 1 counterfeit Metakelfin (1 box) banned in March 2009 • 6 suspected counterfeit products • 208 others not meeting legal requirements • 238 types of cosmetics with prohibited ingredients (~ $ 11,000) confiscated • 38 cases reported to Police • 2 prosecutions • 36 under investigation & administrative actions
Lessons learned • It can be done using country resources • Strong national network of law enforcers to fight counterfeit medicines established • TFDA, Police, Customs, others • Public awareness on the dangers of counterfeit medicines raised • Counterfeit medicines cross borders • Metakelfin in Tanzania and Uganda • Challenge • Identifying source of counterfeit medicines • Need to carry out one operation in the region annually
Recommendations • WHO/IMPACT is requested to continue providing both technical and financial support to national authorities to conduct at least one operation annually • Need to conduct operational research to determine extent of counterfeit problem in the region • Recommended during IMPACT General Meeting in Lisbon, 2007 • Capacity building of national law enforcers and drug testing laboratories on identification of counterfeit medical products
ASANTENI SANA Obrigado Merci THANK YOU