Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority Launches Awareness Campaign To Discourage Patronizing Drugs Sold on The Streets

LMHRA Managing Director Madam Keturah C. Smith

MONROVIA – The Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) has commenced a five-day awareness campaign aimed at discouraging citizens from purchasing fake, substandard and expired medicines and health products on the local market.

The campaign was launched on Thursday, June 25, at the Duala Market on the Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia.

Speaking during the launch, the Managing Director of the LMHRA, Madam Keturah C. Smith, disclosed that the exercise was intended to help guarantee the health of Liberians and other foreign residents in the country.

She noted that citizens should desist from buying medicines from street peddlers, most of whom, did not acquire any knowledge on what they sell to citizens in the market places, communities and other areas.

She maintained that Liberians would be endangering their health if they continued to purchase “unaccounted” for medicines and health products being clandestinely brought into the country through land border points, and criminally sold on the Liberian market.

Madam Smith pointed out that those selling fake and expired medicines in buckets are in the constant habit of exaggerating the positive effect of their products, and as such, consumers should not be carried away by their dubious acts.

She urged citizens to always purchase their medicines from the pharmacies or drug stores instead of in the streets or on the sidewalks.

According to her, the health condition of citizens would turn from bad to worse if fake and substandard medicines are purchased from the sidewalks and taken.

She disclosed that the latest campaign launched by the LMHRA is in no way intended to take Liberians out of business, but it is intended to ensure that citizens remain healthy to meaningfully contribute their quotas to Liberia’s rebuilding process.

“We will continue to be behind the black bag holders seizing their medicines. But now, we have to come to our people to speak our language and discourage them from buying from these people. There are so many other businesses you can do. Just by selling cold water, you can have food to eat. Leave that business of selling expired or fake medicines on the streets”.

“We need to help ourselves to push things forward. We have to be healthy to help our country and government. Tell your family members not to buy medicines from plastic bags or from buckets”.

For his part, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Representative Joseph Sonwarbi said Liberians should not allow people to play with their health by purchasing fake and expired drugs on the local market.

“People sell Medicines in Liberia for two purposes; to make money to sustain they and their families and to make sure that medicine are available to our people but they don’t understand one thing. Medicines are like kitchen knives which our mothers and sister use to cook our foods and make us grow well; but they advise that we must not allow children to play with it due to the danger associated with the knives”.

The Nimba County lawmaker added that most of these street peddlers selling medicines in buckets and black bags, do not know the effect of those health products they sell.

Representative Sonwarbi, however, pledged his commitment and support to help eradicate the sale of fake, expired and substandard medicines and health products on the Liberian market.