It seems the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone has finally begun hammering the menace of fake and substandard drugs in the country as Ministry of Health sources reveal that a total of 165 fake drugs dealers in the Western Area alone have been called to Book.
Chairman of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone who is also Director of Drugs and Medical Supplies at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Mr. Bassie S.R. Turay disclosed that “the Board has taken tough disciplinary action against licensed drugs entrepreneurs that were found wanting for selling illegally imported drugs and fake and substandard medicines in the country”.
Mr. Bassie Turay said that the decision was reached after the Board sat on the cases of a total of 169 defaulters in the Western Area on the 26th, 27th November and 13th December and that of the 165, some 69 licenses were revoked, 77 fined and 3 cases are yet to be sorted out Chairman Bassie Turay said.
Legal adviser and representative of the Attorney General on the Board Lawyer R.A. Caesar told journalists that “this time around, the Board is ready to change the sluggish state of affairs that used to be at the Pharmacy Board (where) leniency was prioritized at the expense of the health of the public” adding that “as long as the current Board continues to exist, no more will greedy and callous businessmen operate in the Pharmaceutical Industry at the expense of the health of the general public”.
Lawyer R.A. Caesar reiterated that “this action will serve as precedence for all those that may want to nefariously engage in fake drugs merchandise in the country with the backdrop that the current Board will not take lightly with them or in anyway compromise the health of the public”.
Acting Registrar of the Pharmacy Board Wiltshire C.N. Johnson disclosed that similar disciplinary actions have also been taken against defaulters in all the four provincial regions of the country; adding that “this forms the basis for future disciplinary action against those that have vowed to themselves that they will put the public health of this country in utter peril by trading in fake and substandard medicines”.
By Ophaniel Gooding