New Vision (Kampala) - January 17, 2012
A quiet room on the 2nd floor of Suize Plaza in Kabalagala, a few
metres from the American Embassy in Kampala, would pass for an
But tucked behind the flashy work stations in the office, two
young girls are quietly selling Virol ZAPPER, a drug purported to
be a cure for HIV.
The drug is sold in small doses of 37ml and each costs sh500,000.
Patients are required to take ten drops of the drug three times a
day, while children are advised to take five drops.
The drug purported to be manufactured in the United States has
been widely advertised on several radio and TV stations as a
'miracle drug' against one of the world's deadliest viruses.
The fake drug is distributed by Tropa Group, a shadow company
which the National Drug Authority (NDA) says it has not licensed
to sell drugs. The proprietor of the company only identified as
Abigaba Simon, is on the run.
A team from the NDA and Kabalagala Police Station raided the
office at noon on Tuesday and arrested Brenda Nabatanzi and
Maureen Birungi, who claim to be sales representatives of the
NDA's inspector of drugs, Dr Noel Mategyero said the drug did not
conform to the standards set for the production and sale of
"The drug is not registered by NDA and it is not known to us.
Even the therapeutic claim to cure HIV is in dispute," he said.
He disclosed that NDA would take samples to its lab for testing,
and warned the public against using it.
Wycliffe Arinaitwe, NDA's law enforcement officer who tracked the
sale of the fake drug said they were tracking the owner to face
charges, in accordance with the National Drug Policy and
Authority Act, 1993.
The act states that only a person registered or enrolled under
the Nurses and Midwives Act or any other authorised person may
supply or dispense restricted drugs in accordance with
regulations made by the Minister.
The law also prohibits the supply of restricted drugs from any
premises unless either a general or a limited certificate is
issued by NDA. The premises are supposed to be checked to ensure
that the facilities, equipment and other physical attributes are
suitable for the supply of the drugs.
The officer in charge of Kabalagala Police Station, Patrick
Baluku said the Police had started investigations into the
matter, and added that numerous illegal drugs were being sold in
"We have received several reports about people selling fake
drugs. People should know the right places where to buy genuine
drugs," he cautioned.