13 April 2017

Liberia: Counterfeiting Medicines Is Terrorism

Former Sinoe County Senator Mobutu Nyenpan says the counterfeiting of medicines in the ECOWAS sub-region is an act of terrorism against public health and an act of economic sabotage.

In his presentation at the ECOWAS Parliamentarian delocalized meeting of joint committees in Monrovia on Wednesday, 12 April, the former Liberian ECOWAS Second Rapporteur said "strangely", the fake and expired medicine industry is a vibrant and thriving business.

Mr. Nyenpan names factors accounting for the growth of fake counterfeit and expired medical products in the ECOWAS sub-region as border porosity, inadequate technical and human resource capacity, poor or weak regional collaboration among security agencies and regulatory Institutions.

He has warned that the industry has detrimental impact on the health sector and national economies. Mr. Nyenpan says there has been remarkable strides made to combat the menace, but he insists that eradicating it remains a global challenge.

He has blamed the challenge on the under-regulation of local medicine producing industries, difficulties in controlling land territory, poor law enforcement structures, vulnerability to organized crimes and corrupt practices, among others.

Also making presentation, the Managing Director of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority or LMHPRA, Mr. David Sumo warned that medicines are not ordinary commercial goods that are to be sold in the streets.

He says the use of medicine is for the good of the public and should not be left to the marketers. Mr. Sumo says women, especially the unlettered ones are the direct victims of the huge amount of counterfeit drugs on the market. He concludes that the fight against counterfeit drugs remains weak and poses a major challenge to the sub-region.


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