Health Regulatory Authority Calls for Battle against Counterfeit Drugs in Liberia

Some sample of counterfeit drugs

Monrovia – The Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) has stressed the need for Liberians to battle against counterfeit medical drugs entering Liberia.

Managing Director David Sumo stated that the battle should be a collective effort from every Liberian.

Mr. Sumo made the observation recently in an interview with journalist shortly when he was honored at the Post Marking Surveillance Round Six Dissemination Meeting at Central Level (Monrovia) held at a local hotel in Sinkor.

He noted that counterfeit medical drugs will continue to threaten the health delivery system for years if adequate measures are not put into place to curtail their inflow.

He asserted that the health sector cannot be viable if quality medical drugs are not administer to patients and this should be concerned of all stakeholders, noting that healthy people will a build vibrant nation.

According to him, preventing counterfeit medical drugs from entering the country and ensuring that all medical drugs are documental through the relevant agencies will ensure that medical drugs entering in Liberia are good products and fake.

He added that since the LMHRA lost its laboratory through a fire outbreak in 2017, the need to build standard lab based on the international standard would be a good investment that the government can undertake to test medical drugs entering the country, adding the health needs of the people should be a major priority.

He indicated that investing in the LMHRA’s Lab will go a long way to determine fake drugs on the Liberian market.

The head of Promoting Quality of Medicines (PQM) Latifa El Hadrid emphasized described her working relationship with members of LMHRA as very positive and that Liberia is one of the countries her organization had been successful in.

Says Madam El Hadrid: “As the matter of fact, Liberia is one of the countries where we have good successful story because of their commitment despite they went through 20 years of civil war they were able to put together good quality insurance system and quality control because when we started there was no regular authority but we helped them by drifting the first basic act which was pass by the legislature.”

Madam El Hadrid said the passing of the drift by the legislature had helped them to build the capacity of LMHRA.

She called on the government of Liberia to continue her support to the LMHRA because through that help the institution would be able to carry on her function in the interest of the country and its people.

The Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Anthony Chan said the increased recognition of the prevalence of poor quality medicines poses serious threat to public health particularly in low and middle income countries such as Liberia.

Director Chan stated that falsified and substandard medicines represent not only a waste of scarce resources but also substantial risk to public health.

‘We know those risks, they include treatment failure, adverse patients’ reactions, drug resistance and increased mortality,” he added.

The Deputy Minister of Health, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Health, told members of LMHRA that they needed not to worry about land to build their laboratory because the government is ready to provide for them an area on Findus campus to build their laboratory.

Vaifee Tulay said if the University of Liberia administration can provide land for the World Bank where they built a medical school, they can do the same for LMHRA.

Minister Tulay made it clear that the only way LMHRA would be able to provide quality drugs for the health sector in the country is to have a well equip laboratory to keep the drugs or else the drugs would not meet the standard to save any patient life.

Deputy Minister Tulay emphasized that the drugs product are now in the wrong and if all of the medical storage were in intact but the product are found in the wrong hands, it would compromise the integrity of the product and also the safety of the individual person.

The Chairman on Health at the House of Representatives, Honorable Joseph Swanke of District #2 Nimba County paid homage to Promoting Quality of Medicines (PQM) for the numeral impact the organization had made in the health sector of Liberia.

Honorable Swanke said he is siding because LMHRA is still in a very challenging stage especially after the destruction of the well-furnished lap that placed Liberia on map with other countries in Africa.

Says Honorable “The closure of this program especially the training and application fees is the one that is closer but we want to say here that we wholeheartedly appreciate the effort because if Liberia is calling for the establishment of a resealing health care delivery system that cannot be done in the absence of good quality of medicine and there is no other person in Liberia or anywhere else in the world that can just see a product through the eyes and tell the quantity of active pharmaceutical ingredient that is available in it so those things require a well equip laboratory.” “I think it is time that the government should also take some of the major responsibilities that are required to protect the lives of her own citizens rate so we want to say here that sometime we are saddened because place like LMHRA a place of professionals and we are hearing all kind of things behind it that to make us to worry and it makes us to ask ourselves we are going in the area of protecting the lives of our people.”