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Gov’t Drugs Worth Shs490m Impounded, Drug Shops Closed

Government has revealed that  recent joint operations carried out by Ministry of Health, National Drug Authority, Uganda Police and Health Monitoring Unit  have resulted into the  impounding of  981 boxes of assorted medical items valued at Shs490.5m of which 165 boxes had medicines intended for public health facilities.

The revelation was made by Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng today while addressing the media at Uganda Media Centre about the impounded government drugs, exports without authorization and unlicensed operations.

She said about five operations were conducted between March and April 2019.

The Minister said the operations are intended to clamp down on a racket involved in deliberate alteration/re-labeling of expired medicine and prevent its use by the population.

They are also  aimed at cracking down on dealers in substandard, and counterfeit medicines as well as  intercept dealers in medicines intended for public health facilities with intentions to sell them to the private sector or export them to other countries. They are also aimed at saving tax payers money by stopping medicines pilferage from public health facilities.

Minister Jane Ruth Aceng

“Our operations begun in East, Kampala and will move to the entire country. The teams conducted operations in 5 major shift markets in the 4 districts of Bukedea, Soroti, Bulambuli, and Serere & impounded 31 boxes of medicine while apprehending 19 suspects,” Aceng said.

She added: “In these shift markets, there are hawkers of medicine who have no knowledge in handling medicine, hence exposing the unsuspecting population to health risks with unverified claims. Such individuals sell substandard, fake, and counterfeit medicines.”

She revealed that in Kaberamaido, a drug shop in the names of Healing Drug Shop had a box of coartem tablets with doses for 186 patients that were donations not intended for sale, but were being sold to the community.

“During the exercise 12 drug shops were closed, 12 boxes of medicines impounded, and 10 suspects apprehended and handed over to police,” she said.

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