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Government To Burn 1,500 Tons of Expired Medicines

The Ministry of Health has embarked on a drive to dispose of expired and obsolete medicines and other health supplies from 6, 619 health facilities in Uganda, both Government owned and Private Not for Profit.

Addressing the press on Monday morning at Uganda Media Centre, Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health said that the process will create more space for adequate storage of medicines and other health supplies delivered by National Medical Stores (NMS) and Joint Medical Store (JMS). She added that this will also help prevent the risk of public health hazards, pilferage and relabeling as a result of keeping such items in health facilities for long.

Accompanied by Technical Heads of National Drug Authority (NDA), NMS and JMS, Atwine said that expired pharmaceuticals are a growing concern in the country and can result into a risk to national security.

Dr. Diana Atwine addressing the press. She was accompanied bu Technical Heads of National Drug Authority, National Medical Store and Joint Medical Store (in the background).

“Currently, the quantities of expired medicines  all over the country are expected to be about  1,200 tons  to 1,500 tons,” Atwine said, adding: “It is naturally expected that 5% of pharmaceuticals in distribution is bound to end up obsolete or expired.”

The last time such a massive exercise was carried out was 2012.

She further revealed that NDA has set aside resources to pay the contracted provider to incinerate the expired and obsolete medicines and other health supplies.

“In addition, Ministry of Health has also tasked National Drug Authority to establish a rigorous post market surveillance system which will ensure  that all medicines on the market, both imported and locally manufactured are closely monitored for safety, efficacy and quality,” Atwine said.


Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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