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Licences of 817 drug-importing companies suspended

Licences of 817 drug-importing companies suspended

Oct 29, 2017 - 12:53

KABUL (Pajhwok): National Medicine & Health Product Regulatory Authority (NMHPRA) says licences of 817 drug-importing companies have been suspended.

Dr. Noor Shah Kamawal, NMHPRA head, told a press conference a campaign for collecting smuggled and spurious medicine was launched in Kabul on Saturday and would continue for 12 weeks in all 32 provinces.

He said the campaign would continue until all smuggled medicines were controlled and those involved in the illegal business identified.

The smuggling of medicines into the country was a serious problem that had to be dealt with through close monitoring, quality checks, he believed.

Besides regularly assessing activities of importers, NMHPRA also worked for controlling and managing medicine in the market, Kamawal said.

He added they had suspended the licences of 817 importing companies that violated the authority’s rules over the last three months.

These firms were given a deadline to coordinate their activities with the NMHPRA; otherwise their licenses would be cancelled, he warned.

He said 113 foreign companies that illegally imported drugs into Afghanistan were banned and their list shared with relevant organs and drug distributers.

Ninety-three medical stores in Kabul, violating pharmacy rules, were warned and given a deadline of one month to correct themselves, Kamawal said.

Around 100 tonnes of expired and substandard drugs in Kabul and 47 tonnes in other provinces of the country had been collected and torched over the last one year.

Kamawal expressed concern over lack of health professionals in the health sector, arguing decades of war in the country had damaged the sector and contributed to non-professionalism.

He said inadequate diagnosis of some diseases such as cancer was another serious issue facing the health sector and patients were obliged to travel to foreign countries.