A huge THANK YOU to the Traditional and Natural Health Alliance, and in specific Dr Rees for the effort in the fight to protect the rights of those that practice and use Complimentary and Alternative Medicines.
The TNHA recently questioned the opening, and subsequent free trading of herbal medicines by a Chinese company, Tong Ren Tang Technologies Co. Ltd that was opened by who is thought to be our next president, Dr. Nkosizana Dlamini Zuma. The query was done in an official capacity and submitted to the Medical Control Council, as well as the Department of Health.
The question arose from the fact that by law, any person or company that wished to import products that were deemed natural medicinal products, or raw materials used in the manufacture of such products, had to obtain a licence to do so from the MCC, as well as receive permission for each separate product. This is applicable for all new imports after 2013.
The vehicle used to empower this principle, and over 120 thousand subsequent memos sent to the port authorities to block imports, was Notice No. R 204 published in the Government Gazette of 22 February 2002 relating to the MEDICINES AND RELATED SUBSTANCES ACT, 1965 (ACT 101 OF 1965).
A person would expect a government and Medical Control Council that seemed hell-bent on removing Complimentary and Alternative products from the shelves to pursue the matter to the same extent that they have been hounding local companies, don't you think? Well think again. On the morning that the receipt of this question or complaint was acknowledged by email, a notice appeared in the Government Gazette, signed by DR JC GOUWS, REGISTRAR OF MEDICINES at the MCC, that repealed the offending piece of legal speak:
"The Medicines Control Council by virtue of the powers vested in it by section 14(2) of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act 101 of 1965), has by resolution approved by the Minister of Health, resolved to rescind the call -up notice for medicines frequently referred to as complementary medicines as published in the Government Notice R.204, Gazette No 23128 of 22 February 2002."
Although this now opens the door for imports, it smacks of all kinds of cronyism and discrimination, as the different authorities seemed to have done so purely to keep their Chinese buddies legal.
Opinion Piece - Author: Ronald Gibson 28.02.2017