Substandard Drugs Induces New Diseases

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-LMHRA Boss Alarms at Influx of bad Medicines

The Managing Director of the Liberia Medicine and Health Product Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) has alarmed that the influx of substandard drugs is inducing new diseases in the country. Pharmacist David Sumo said there is an urgent need to develop a framework that will control the sales and provision of health services.

He spoke to reporters at the start of a two-day validation forum on Monday, October 29, in Paynesville. Sumo said the two-day gathering of stakeholders from the LMHRA and the health sector is geared towards instituting proper measures on the control of medicines and provision of health services that is internationally acceptable.

“For us, at the LMHRA, we look at the safety of medicine. The sale of medicine is a public health issue and this is why we are concerned,” said Sumo.

He said while the LMHRA remains committed, the entity is faced with numerous difficulties in the execution of its assigned duties.   According to him, the lack of tracking system to detect possible illegal research using biological samples is one of the key challenges confronting the LMHRA.

“Another major challenge we are faced with is the lack of regulations on samples transferred out of the country. There is also limited monitoring of quality services,” the LMHRA boss furthered.

He said due to these challenges, there is a pressing need to develop a regulatory platform to overcome them (challenges).

“We need to keep doing research so that we can better prepare ourselves for those challenges. Absolutely, there is a need to monitor the safety of medicine. Be it donated or purchased, once it is used for consumption, it must be monitored, and this is why we have gathered here today and up to tomorrow,” he asserted.

For his part, the coordinator of the workshop James D. K. Goteh termed the meeting as successful, noting that the program is a project that his institution has been implementing.

“The project has five pillows, and this is one of the arms we are trying to conclude. We have to ask for capacity building. At the LMHR, we need to have an oversight to be able to regulate. We don’t have the expertise in the country due to the war so we have to ask our partners to help us in the process,” Mr. Goteh said.

He said based upon that, they are trying to build the capacity of the organization to effectively regulate clinical trial in the country.

LMHRA was established in 2010 by an act of legislation. LMHRA is responsible to regulate the sale of drugs in Liberia.

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