LIBERIA: Pharmacy Board Destroys L$5m Expired, Substandard Medicines In Nimba

GANTA, April 21 (LINA) – Authorities of the Liberia Pharmaceutical Board (LPB) have burned a huge quantity of expired and substandard medical drugs valued L$5 million in Ganta, the commercial city of Nimba County.

The drugs were burned in the presence of a record crowd at the Zuah Mill crossing point located on the outskirts of Ganta as part of the LPB’s strive to ensure that no substandard or expired drugs are found on the shelves of drugstores and pharmacies.

Speaking to reporters during the exercise, LPB Inspector General Jefferson P. Harris said the drugs were arrested across Nimba County, specifically from the Yekepa and Ganta ports of entry and drugstores and pharmacies in Ganta.

According to Inspector General Harris, most of the drugs got expired more than a year ago, but were still on the shelves of pharmacies in the county, while others were substandard drugs produced in neighboring Guinea.

He said majority of the drugs were paracetamol, bon power, amodaquine, septrin and various malarial drugs.

The LPB boss pointed out that the government of Liberia banned the use and sale of amodaquine three years ago, but the LPB was surprised to see business people still keeping them on their shelves.

According to IG Harris, owners of drugstores and pharmacies who bring in these drugs usually erase the original expiration date written on the products by the producers and rewrite another date, all in an attempt to have those drugs sold to customers to maximize profits.

Harris, who attributed the huge entry of expired and substandard drugs into Liberia to porous borders and many illegal entry points, said the situation is grave and requires the collective efforts of everyone if government’s quest to rid Liberia of expired and substandard drugs is to be realized.

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