Monrovia — Three senior employees of the Liberia Medicines & Health Products Regulatory (LMHRA) have decried numerous challenges confronting the entity.
Appearing on the Super Morning Show (SMS) on ELBC, the Head of Inspectorate Department, Teedoh Beyslow, Alexander Momo, Head of Medicines Registration Unit and Samuel Toe, Senior Laboratory Analyst, decried the lack logistic and adequate financial support to the LMHRA.
According to them, the LMHRA is seeking to ensure medicines and health products brought into the country are of quality, efficacy and safe for the consumption of the general public.
The three senior staff at the entity also indicated that the entity is working assiduously to also ensure that adequate and substantial public awareness is provided to the public so as to curtail the issue of street peddling and open sale of medicines around the country.
Therefore, the employees have called on the public to collaborate with the entity to ensure that selling of medicines in the open and from street sellers are curtailed.
"If drug is not safe, it denatures the ingredients of the medicines and health products and caused deterioration in the consumer health of skin," the Inspector General explained.
According to the Inspector General, the institution intends to carry on a nationwide inspection but due to logistical challenge, it has been difficult; with help from USAID, the LMHRA is expected to in the shortest possible time carry out a nationwide assessment and sensitization.
Commenting further on illegal sale of medicines and health products, the three senior staffs in separate remarks noted that even though there aren't stronger law or punishment on book for those involved in the sales medicines in the street, however, after the pending retreat, LMHRA will come up with stronger regulation that will rigidly deal with those caught or engage into illegal street peddling and as well as those found bringing fake or substandard medicines or health products in the country.
Beyslow, Momo and Toe in their deliberations, called on the Legislature, especially the Committee on Health in both Houses of the Legislature to provide more budgetary allotment to the entity so as to ensure the smooth and effective operations of the authority.
According to them, there is a need for the decentralization and visibility of the entity's work in the 15 sub-divisions of Liberia; but cannot be fully actualized without logistic, capacity-building and adequate budgetary allocation.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General at the LMHRA has also disclosed that the institution which is also clout with the authority to dispose pharmaceutical waste; will in begin to dispose or incinerate pharmaceutical waste around the country.
According to him, as it stands, there are several medical institutions around the country that are requesting the LMHRA to dispose the waste, but due to the challenges faced by the institution, they are yet to jump-start the process.
He noted that with collaboration from USAID, they are ensuring an assessment is done so as to start the collection and subsequent incineration of these pharmaceutical wastes.
He is also calling on pharmacies and medicine stores not to dispose their pharmaceutical wastes, because the LMHRA is the only institution clout with the responsibility and technical know-how to dispose pharmaceutical wastes.
For his part, the Senior Analyst of the laboratory said before the lab was gutted by fire, they carried on International Standard Organization (ISO) testing that was guaranteed by the ISO.
For Momo, he disclosed that the registration of drug is to ensure that pharmaceutical products circulating in Liberia is in compliance with the 2010 Act that created the entity.