Liberia: Regulatory Authority Seizes 'Huge Quantity' of 'Counterfeit' Drugs From 11 Pharmacies

Monrovia — The Managing Director of Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regularity Authority (LMHRA), Mr. David Sumo, on Wednesday, July 3rd, gave detailed pieces of information on how far his organization has reached in their fight against counterfeit drugs on the market.

At a press briefing at his VP Road Offices, Mr. Sumo displayed several counterfeited medicinal products that his office reportedly confiscated from 11 pharmacies and other street peddlers around in and around Monrovia.

According to him, the 11 pharmacies are Irene Pharmacy, A.O Pharmacy, Nurse's Medicine Store, A and H Pharmacy, Harris Modern Medicine Pharmacy all located in the Airfield, Sinkor Community.

Swary Corp. Medicine Store, Joan/Diamond Pharmacy and Port Pharmacy are located on the Bushrod Island; while A.J. Kolleh and Blessed Pharmacies in Waterside Community. Refined Pharmacy is located in the Chicken Soup Factory Community.

Sumo disclosed that his institution's board will have a conference with owners of those pharmacies in order to know where and how they got the drugs.

The LMHRA boss said only medicines that are been certified by them are allowed to be sold on the Liberian market. According to him, appropriate action against the owners of those pharmacies.

He blamed the lack of thorough measures at most of the country's border posts, which gives rise to easy entry of these counterfeit products. He, however, assured the general public that his organization is working hard to stop the spread of such dangerous drugs on the Liberian market.

"For us to stop the continued entry of counterfeit drugs in Liberia, we have to work hand in hand with our boarder security forces because there are more than 300 entry points between Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. To keep eyes on all of those areas is a big challenge for our state security because of the lack of funds and our organization is also an underfunded regulatory agency that is faced with serious logistical problems and have only two staffs assigned in the rural areas it would be very difficult to put stop to such problem."

The regulation of medicines and related health products in Liberia are governed by the provisions and requirements of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) Act of 2010.

The Act was prepared in 2009 and was passed into law by the Legislature in early September 2010.

The purpose of the LMHRA is to ensure that, in the national medicine supply system, safe, effective, and good quality medicines reach the Liberian public, to protect the Liberian public from the harmful effects of substandard and counterfeit medicines and health products and to ensure fair trade practices in medicines and health products.

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