15 December 2017

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MoPH New Strategy To Address Fake Medicines In Afghanistan

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Tuesday November 28, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Fake and unlicensed medicines are being delivered illegally by individuals and companies to market and the situation is increasing day by day in the country. Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) says there are nearly 15,000 types of medicines in the country’s markets and most of them are unnecessary. Based on new strategy of the respective ministry, efforts are underway for prevention of imports and selling of low-quality and unnecessary medicines in the country.
According to minister of public health Ferozuddin Feroz, trafficking of medicines has reduced comparing to last year. He has said that 90% of medicines have been imported to the country from Pakistan, Iran, India, China, Bangladesh, UAE and South Korea, adding that 30% of the medicines are trafficked by individuals and companies.
Hundred millions of dollars has been spent in various health sections in the country as hundreds of hospitals and clinics have been constructed and renovated in different provinces of the country. Moreover, administrative structures have developed, but there has been little improvement in management and controlling of medicines in the country.
Therefore, medicine-trafficking is considered as a big challenge for MoPH and traders who are legally importing medicines from other countries. A number of institutions are controlling and overseeing medicine imports, but lack of a sound mechanism for coordination and close cooperation between organs as MoI, MoF and MoPH has caused that hundreds thousand tons low-quality and fake medicines were trafficked from neighboring countries to Afghanistan.
Now, there are 1193 companies importing medicines to the country, but the ministry of public health has blacklisted nearly 817 companies importing low-quality imports from neighboring countries. Increasing insecurity in Afghanistan has changed the country into a medicine-consuming country.
Lack of standard and equipped labs in ports as well as lack of professional cadres particularly in provinces is also considered as one of causes for importing low-quality medicines to Afghanistan. It is said that modern medical equipment has been purchased by MoPH in recent years, but due to lack of professional cadres in medical technology sector in the country, the modern equipment has amortized as the equipment was not used properly.
What should to do? To prevent from imports of low-quality medicines, it is necessary to take the following steps:
· Enforcement of sternly laws on individuals and companies operating in connection with imports of low-quality and trafficking of medicines to the country.   
· Preparing and implementation of a mechanism for production, importing, overseeing and controlling of medicines.
· Enhancement of capacity level of professional cadres in medical technology sector particularly in the country’s provinces.
· Creating a particular mechanism for strengthening coordination between relevant organs in importing, producing and processing of medicines in the country and supporting investment in producing section of medicines inside of the country as well as approving of Afghanistan-made medicines by a prestigious and known world pharmaceutical company.
Currently, new strategy of the public health ministry is mostly stressing on covering and quality of health services and we know that responsive health services should be delivered in remote areas of the country. Presently, there are 13,000 medical stores operating across the country, but only 4,000 professional individuals are working in this sector.
Lailuma Noori
 

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