A comment from Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s office about her organising cancer medicine from Russia for the late ANC stalwart Jessie Duarte has drawn flak from the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
Sisulu made the comment after Duarte's death from cancer on 17 July. South Africa has stringent rules on the import and export of medicines; legislation prescribes that only an SA-registered company licensed by SAHPRA can import medicines registered by the entity into the country, reports TimesLIVE.
However, according to IoL, Sisulu vehemently denied having secured medicine from Russia, saying: “It’s all in my head… the medicine is in my head, not in my pocket.”
And for those who don’t believe her? “Go to hell,” she said.
Her comments came after she made headlines for saying: “I was invited to Russia, and while I was there I tried to get medication for her. I succeeded but arrived home too late.”
“SAHPRA is looking into the reports in the media and is engaging with the minister’s office,” the authority said in a statement.
“In the event that a medicine not registered in SA is to be accessed, the guideline on importing and exporting states explicitly: No person shall order any medicine from abroad for personal use unless SAHPRA has granted … an authorisation in terms of section 21 of the Medicines Act,” it said.
The Act also stipulates that any person entering or departing the country may be in possession of a specified quantity of a schedule 3, 4, 5 or 6 substance for personal use only if subject to a valid prescription.
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