THE Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has summoned a Lusaka businessman Mendez Fernandez and his business partner for allegedly manufacturing a drug and marketing it as a cure for HIV.
ZAMRA public relations officer Ludovic Mwape, who confirmed this in an interview yesterday, said the drug, Topvein, is being marketed on a website by Mr Fernandez without marketing authorisation.
Mr Mwape said Mr Fernandez, who is a registered traditional healer under the Traditional Healers Association of Zambia, is one of the directors of Mendez Airways Limited, a company registered with Patents and Companies Registration Office, operating an entity with a business name called Rock ‘O’ River Merchants, trading as Lords – Hill Hope Clinic.
He said the traditional healer and his partner, Pauline Kamanga, will be charged and prosecuted for operating, manufacturing and marketing a drug illegally.
He said in addition, Mr Fernadez, 39, was manufacturing Topvein without a pharmaceutical licence.
“Mr Fernandez, a director, and his partner ,Pauline Favour Kamanga will appear in court today. The two manufactured an herbal drug and marketed it,’’ he said.
Mr Mwape said on dates unknown but between October 1, 2013 and June 4, 2015, the duo manufactured and marketed Topvein drug without authorisation.
He alleged that Ms Kamanga supplied two bottles of Topvein, a drug which is alleged to cure HIV on Makomani Siyanga, without authorisation.
Mr Mwape said the sale of unauthorised medicines, including doing so in a place which is not a pharmacy, contravenes section 44 (1) of the Laws of Zambia.
He said Topvein medicines are packaged in capsule and liquid formulation.
But when questioned by ZAMRA inspectors, Mr Fernandez denied manufacturing the Topvein drug.
However, the bottles containing the drug have his contact details as being the manufacturer.