The Pharmacy Board in the Eastern Regional headquarter town of Kenema has on Monday 1st September 2008 destroyed fake, substandard, counterfeit and expired drugs by burning it at the government hospital compound along Combema road in Kenema city.
Addressing the press at the burning site the Secretary attached to the Ad-hoc task force on drugs in Kenema and Kailahun districts in the Eastern Region Mr. Alieu Katta disclosed to the press that the drugs destroyed worth over twenty million leones and some of them were collected by him from pharmacy outlets in Buedu, Koidu town on the border with Guinea and Liberia, Kailahun, Daru, Segbwema, Tongo field, Panguma, Dodo, Boajibu among others in the Kailahun and Kenema districts.
He said the exercise is the first quarterly destruction he has undertaken since he took over office in the east on 16th June 2008. He called on drug peddlers to desist from such practices emphasizing that the vision of the pharmacy board is to protect public health and to ensure that all drugs coming into the country are standard drugs.
Mr. Katta said as long as he is in the region he will make sure that the issue of fake drugs in the region is wiped out as he will leave no stone unturned in dealing with defaulters.
He said the vision of the pharmacy board is to protect the public health. Also, that drugs entering the country especially in the east would be safe for the masses. He said counterfeit drugs would be reduced to the nearest minimum in the shortest possible time.
Mr. Katta praised the board inspector in this region saying that it is because of their vigilant performance that has led to the huge collection of counterfeit and fake drugs in circulation and this will help promote public health.
Mr. Katta called on the public to take advice from medical practitioners for proper medication and not to buy drugs from peddlers and to avoid fake doctors, which he says they are detrimental to their health. He advised them to buy from reputable pharmacies, as most of the people that they deal with within their communities are not trained and qualified.
The chairman of the pharmacy board in the East Thomas Ade Williams says the board has taken a step to sensitize all stake holders about the dangers involved in substandard drugs in circulation. He disclosed to the press that defaulters are fined to the tune of five hundred thousand Leones or risk the closure of their shop. He said that six pharmacies that are not up to standard have been closed down, and therefore called on pharmacy owners to do the correct things at all time as the board cannot change from their mandate in protecting lives of the citizens of this country. He appealed to the community to work in conjunction with the pharmacy board by reporting cases of such nature to the board at all times.
By Saffa Moriba in Kenema