The National Drug Authority has impounded hundreds of unregistered and smuggled drugs sold in Pharmacies in Soroti and Serere districts.
The impounded drugs include herbal concoctions like Super Mulabe, which is marketed as a wonder drug for all ailments including HIV/AIDS, as well as Kisakyamuzadde, Lubyamira and Buzira. The others included chlorpromazine, Hydrea, Diclofenac injection, Gentamycin injection, Nexium, Artemether Bactrim Trimozole and Dodex, all of which were reportedly smuggled into the country.
Samuel Kyomukama, the Head of Enforcement at NDA says that the special investigative operations were focusing on the removal of illegal drugs from the stores with the intent to improve compliance in drug registration and importation in the districts of Soroti, Serere, Ngora and Kumi.
He explains that some medicines were from manufacturing facilities that had failed Good Manufacturing Practices and had been removed from the drug register. During the search, Promethazine injection, one of the many Chinese products banned by NDA over quality was recovered.
//Cue in “Several unregistered...
Cue out...charge them.”//
At Salvation Pharmacy located in Soroti town, the authority recovered gentamicin injection, one of the smuggled drugs commonly used in drug shops across the region. At Faharan Pharmacy, some drugs with the Chinese language without any English translation were found on sale.
According to Kyomukama, most of the pharmacists are unable to prescribe the drug which is being sold to patients for treatment. When asked how they use the drug, one of the pharmacists at Faharan said that they only sell the drug on demand from drug shop owners and patients who ask for it.
At least four pharmacists have been asked to record statements with the NDA team, explaining how they accessed the drugs. Kyomukama says that the non-compliant pharmacists will be handed over to the police for investigations and prosecution.
In February and March this year, the National Drug Authority conducted a three weeks’ enforcement operation targeting hawkers of medicines in shift markets in the Eastern Region. The operation in fifteen districts of Eastern Uganda led to the arrest of 40 suspects including seven women and recovery of drugs worth 165 million Shillings.