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Don’t be cheated by drug products sold online: Doctors

Don’t be cheated by drug products sold online: Doctors

Mar 25, 2019 - 19:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): In Afghanistaninfo-icon, many products named as medicines for weight loss, height increase, anti-cancer and others are illegally sold and advertised online but doctors say people should not be deceived to buy them.

The Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) on December 7, 2018 in a statement had said, “Some jobbers and cheaters use social media for selling drug products which are totally fake and against the law of our country, apparently these drugs are sold under names of reducing weight, increasing weight, increasing sexual strength and others, but they are not only useless but cause huge costs and serious health side effects.”

A look to Facebook pages selling these products

During the last one month, Pajhwok Afghan News has found on Afghanistan Facebook pages advertisements including a vaccine for cancer treatment.

A Facebook page, افغانها در تورنتو - Afghan Community in Toronto still advertises a post that says anti-cancer vaccine is discovered in Cuba and could be also accessible in Afghanistan against some money.

Another Facebook page, طراوت و زيبايى (Beauty and Freshness) which advertises make up products in a post with a bottle picture says that the drug can increase height.

Brand Online Shopping Centeris another Facebook page that advertises drugs it says can reduce weight from eight to 12 kilograms a month.

Another page, RAHAT Online introduces tablets that claims can reduce weight.

At the bottom of these posts, some people in comments asked questions about the quality and accessibility to the illegal drugs.

“They are ineffective”

Samira, a 24 year old resident of Kabul, said her cousin also used weight loss drugs. “Most of the drugs sold for weight loss in Afghanistan are not ineffective, they also cause side effects and different types of diseases particularly spots on skin.”

She said her cousin after using the weight loss drug for six months got married but she could not get pregnant. “After examination for her pregnancy problem, the doctor said she was unproductive due to the use of the weight loss drugs.”

She said the best way to reduce weight was exercise. Samira said most girls used weight loss drugs because they though men ‘do not marry fat womeninfo-icon.’

Deceiving advertisements

Health experts also say using such drugs affect health and ask people not to be deceived by such online advertisements.

Dr. Bashir Nurmal, a public health expert, termed such online ads as deceitful and said people should be careful about the issue.

About the anti-cancer vaccine ad, he said no such vaccine had so far been discovered in any parts of the worldinfo-icon.

“Whenever people use these drugs for cancer, they may face serious economic and health problems,” he said.

He stressed people should not buy or use any drugs advertised online for weight loss and height increase.

“Anyone who have any health problem can visit a doctor because using medicines without a doctor’s prescription can cause serious problems,” he said.

Medicinal plants for everything

Asia Online Shopping is a Facebook page that advertises in a post, ‘If you suffer from pains in your joints (legs, back, shoulders or neck), we offer you a medicinal herb that has no side effects, this product would remove your pains forever.’

In the comment section of the post, people have asked whether the drug is effective for rheumatism, spinal dis cherniation or not? The admin of the page in response to these questions says, “Yes, they are a hundred percent effective.”

However, Dr. Khalilullah Hotkhel, a surgery expert, says that medicinal herbs also had their side effects and it was impossible they would be good for both rheumatism and spinal disc.

We will control illegal drugs: MoPH

Dr. Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), said that the ministry had previously released a statement about the illegal online drugs and warned people not to use such medicines.

He said the MoPH in cooperation with the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MCIT) was trying to stop illegal drugs sales online.

Zakia Fikrat, head of National Medicine & Health Products Regulatory Authority (NMHRA) at MoPH, said sale of any drugs online and without the license of a doctor was illegal.

She said NMHRA has released a statement about illegal online drugs sales and the ministry would identify the addresses and specifications of such websites and social media pages and ban them in cooperation with MCIT.

We are not guilty: Online sellers

Pajhwok Afghan News tried to contact owners of social media pages that advertise the drug products, but only two of them responded.

Ahmad Maiwand, owner of Asia Online page, said they sold drugs for weight loss, weight gain and shampoos and creams for skins.

About MoPH’s statement on illegal drug sale, he said, “These drugs are available in all drug stores and without prescription of doctors, the problem with us is that we sell them online that is why the ministry blames us.”

The owner of RAHAT Online page on Facebook, who wished to go unnamed, said that most of their products were skin creams, oils, shampoos for hairs which he said had no side effects.

He said they also sold some medicinal herbs for some pains such as joint pains. He said such herbs were sold in most areas of Kabul city.



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