Three senior employees of the Liberia Medicines & Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) have decried numerous challenges confronting the entity.Appearing on Super Morning Show hosted by state radio, ELBC, the Head of Inspectorate Department, Teedoh Beyslow, Alexander Momo, Head of Medicines Registration Unit and Samuel Toe, Senior Laboratory Analyst, complained of lack of logistic and adequate financial support to the LMHRA.
According to them, the institution seeks to ensure medicines and health products brought into the country are of quality, efficacy and safe for the consumption of the general public.
They also indicated that the entity is working assiduously to ensure adequate public awareness is provided to the public to curtail issue of street peddling and open sale of medicines around the country.
The staffs have called on the public to collaborate with the entity to ensure that selling of medicines in the open and from street sellers are curtailed.“If drug is not safe, it denatures the ingredients of the medicines and health products and caused deterioration in the consumer health of skin,” Mr. Beyslow explained.
He said the institution intends to carry on nationwide inspection but logistics poses a challenge. Notwithstanding, he noted that with help from USAID, the LMHRA is expected to in the shortest possible time carry out a nationwide assessment and sensitization.
Commenting further on illegal sale of medicines and health products, the three senior staffs in separate remarks noted that even though there aren’t stronger law or punishment on the book for those involved in the sales of medicines in the streets, after a pending retreat, the entity will come up with stronger regulation that will rigidly deal with those caught or engage in illegal street peddling as well as those found bringing fake or substandard medicines or health products in the country.
The trios called on the Legislature, especially the Committee on Health in both the Senate and the House to provide more budgetary allotment to the entity for smooth and effective operations.
According to them, there is need for decentralization and visibility of the entity’s work in all 15 sub-divisions of Liberia, but cannot be fully actualized in the absence of logistic, capacity-building and adequate budgetary allocation.
At the same time Beyslow disclosed that the institution which is also clout with the authority to dispose pharmaceutical waste will shortly dispose or incinerate pharmaceutical waste around the country.
According to him, as it stands, there are several medical institutions around the country that are requesting the LMHRA to dispose their waste, but due to the challenges faced, they are yet to jump-start the process.
For his part, the Senior Analyst of the laboratory said before the lab was gutted by fire, they carried on International Standard Organization (ISO) testing that was guaranteed by the ISO.
For Momo, he disclosed that the registration of drug is to ensure that pharmaceutical products circulating in Liberia is in compliance with the 2010 Act that created the entity.