At times, it can be deadlySmuggling hurts everyone [Archives:2004/705/Local News]

January 22 2004

By Abdulaziz Mohamed Abdullah
Yemen Times
Aden Bureau

Smuggling in general is a very negative and dangerous phenomenon that requires the attention and effective response of the authorities due to the grave impacts it has on social and economic aspects in the country.
For one, it deprives the state from deserved taxes.
But if the smuggled goods are manufactured within the country, then it is even more severe, as it also harms national industry and results in unjust competition with goods that are not taxed, and those are extremely cheap compared to other goods.
This results in gradual collapse of national production. If the authorities continue to stay silent concerning this matter, then this would result in the possible conclusion by smugglers that the government is actually happy about the situation and cares little about their violations that are killing the economy.
I believe the government will be held accountable if this phenomenon continues.

Death in pharmacies
Just as it is unjustifiable for the government to turn a blind eye on smuggling in general, it's no-action scheme concerning smuggled medicine is even more outrageous and cannot be tolerated.
The reason is quite obvious, as those medicines kill patients who may end up buying the cheaper medicine due to their weak economic conditions, which resulted in the low purchasing power of citizens.
In an issue of 26-September weekly published in April 2002, Yemeni medicine producers have called upon the Ministry of Public Health and Population along with the Supreme Medicine and Medical Accessories Authority to act swiftly to stop the illegal selling of smuggled medicine in the republic's pharmacies.
Apart from smuggling medicine, some cases of fake medicine were also revealed bringing the issue to even greater levels in terms of priority and importance. The news item published in the same newspaper mentioned above -26 September- in December 2003 said that there are efforts to stop the distribution of fake medicine throughout the country.
The news article said that the Ministry of Health along with security authorities have already started a wide campaign to limit the number of smuggled or fake medicines from being sold, and to impose strict punishments on pharmacies that sell them.
This comes after the number of smuggled and fake medicine has risen to alarming rates.
Medicine that doesn't enter the country legally is probably too faulty to enter the country that is why those medicines are being smuggled or faked. Many cases of poisoning and health problems have been reported to patients who had medicine that was later found to be defective or expired as it was either fake or smuggled.
There are many international specifications and standards that need to be observed in any medicine entering the country, and those medicines that fail to meet the criteria are usually smuggled.
The government must carry out its duties responsibly to stop the cancer of smuggling to eat away what is left of our vulnerable and weak economy. Grave consequences will eventually result from any negligence or carelessness by the government regarding this issue.