Food Supplements Penetrate Ugandan Market as Drugs

9579 Views Kampala, Uganda
Food Supplements are increasingly penetrating the Ugandan market but the distinction between a food supplement and a drug is not yet clear to many consumers in Uganda. Food supplements are intended to complement food dietary but not as cures to dietry ailments. But with no specific regulation on Food Supplements distribution and marketing in Uganda, many Ugandans continue to purchase the food supplements as drugs. Food supplement products are classified as detoxifiers, nourishments, immune boosters and reflexes. But for some unscrupulous dealers, you are better off describing food supplements as drugs in order to attract market. Some of these products are marketed as wonder drugs, containing as many nutrients as all classes of calcium or vitamin. Richard Segawa, a distributor of products made by Dynapharm, cites Sprina as a drug that apparently boosts one's immunity, but also cures migraines and back aches. Julius Kato is a distributor of the Chinese Tianshi food supplement products. But when marketing his products, he describes how some of the tablets in the containers are cures for diabetes, epilepsy and stress. Kato claims that the food supplements are manufactured using bio-engineered technology, and this combines major dietary nutrients. //Cue in: iThere is what we call# Cue out#balances our sugar levels.i// According to the National Drug Authority, nutritional supplements should not be marketed as Drugs or medicines. Moses Oga, an officer from the NDA's Drug Assessment and Registration Department, explains why food supplements must not be marketed as drugs. //Cue in: iA nutritional supplement# Cue out:#stringent requirements.i// Florence Obiacha, an officer at NDA says no complaints have been logged in their officers regarding the sale and distribution of the food supplements. she says this makes it difficult to apprehend the culprits. NDA however explains that there is a limitation on the amount of nutrient these supplements can contain, beyond which they become drugs. For instance for calcium, the recommended daily dietary intake (RDA) is 1000 grams, and the acceptable nutrient content is 2000 grams. At Dynapharm, some nutritional supplements cost between 15, 000 and 40, 000UShs.


Tagged with: food supplements