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What is your opinion of the current control over complementary products and devices in South Africa?

Although the laws governing complementary medicines are adequate, the implementation of them in the past has been lacking. The medicines control council (MCC) is still far behind in its evaluation of complementary medicines claims and effectiveness. This has resulted in a huge back-log of products currently in the market place that still require evaluation. The result is that occasionally you do find products making false claims or containing sub-therapeutic doses of active ingredients. Apparently the medicines control council has new management and there is talk of new regulations that will enable them to better evaluate and control complementary medicines in the marketplace. In the meantime it is best to buy or prescribe more established and trusted complementary medicines brands. Also beware that if a product makes claims that sound too good to be true, then they probably are, especially in the arena of weight loss and sexual performance. Bear in mind, that there have been problems in the conventional prescription medicines industry too. These sorts of problems are not limited to complementary medicines only, even in countries with strict medicine control. An example is in the USA where some asthma medication sprays did not contain any active ingredient at all.

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