The Pharmacy Board with the Health Ministry, on 19 September 2017, destroyed counterfeit and expired drugs worth over Le700 million at the Kingtom dump site (Bumeh). The drugs were piled and burned using gasoline and used tires.

According to the Chairman of the Pharmacy Board, Bassie Turay, they have been gathering the illegal drugs since January 2017 and include; capsules, children’s syrup, antibiotics, painkillers and Tramadol, among others.

The Registrar of the Pharmacy Board, Wilshire Johnson, said the exercise is done annually to help protect the public from harmful substances. He said, “It’s unfortunate they are doing it yearly, which shows a number of weaknesses in the system.”

Among the weaknesses, he said, are unscrupulous people who are selling illegal products and bad drug supply management systems in the private sector.

The Registrar maintained that 700 million Leones is a very huge sum of money and a big loose to the country as the money used to purchase the destroyed drugs belong to the people who in turn buy the fake drugs, stating that in saving life the said amount is meaningless.

The Chairman of the Pharmacy Board, Bassie Turay, represented the Health Minister. He said public health is key to government responsibility, as most people only focus on rubbishes around the country forgetting about the fake drugs.

He explained the destroyed drugs were seized from drug peddlers from the various regions, border entering points, the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, Lungi Airport, and outlets in the Western area. He explained that they also made some seizures from NGO’s working in the areas of health.

The exercise was done in the presence of Police personnel, civil society and non-governmental organizations and officials from the Pharmacy Board and Ministry of Health. (Awoko)