Trading with death, danger attacking population and economyOfficial campaign for fighting smuggling of medicines [Archives:2004/747/Business & Economy]

June 17 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The ministry of health, local councils and governors allover Yemen are launching an extensive campaign aimed at curbing the phenomenon of smuggling expired medicines and closing down violating health institutions as well as stopping licenses granted for practicing the profession of pharmacy without specialized medical certificates. All those measures are for the purpose of stopping the trading with death and providing protection for the population in addition to protecting the national economy against the dangers resulting from smuggling.
The ministry has issued instructions to its offices in the governorates calling for closing down pharmacies and health centers licensed for persons who are not in possession of qualifications for performing their medical roles committed in protecting population against death.
Officials in the governorates have taken the initiative and started their cooperation with the ministry of health in taking part in implementing the campaign especially after the discovery that some clinics offer mistaken diagnosis and medicines to the patients and that the drugs used by them were expired in validity.
The campaign also aims at curbing the financial and administrative corruption existing in the institutions concerned with granting licenses for establishing centers and pharmacies that are violating conditions of health safety.
Smuggling of medicines to the Yemeni market has resulted in weakening the national industry of local medicines which have been exposed to damage in prices of their sale because of the inability to offer prices competing of its national products.
Health sources emphasize that the bodies of monitoring and inspection have captured tons of smuggled corrupt medicines and embarked on burning them due to their uselessness for human consumption.
The sources view that the campaign would be maintained till all violators are caught and punished as well as protecting the national medicinal products from recession in the market. They assert that the time of the effort would be long because smuggling mafia uses many means and ways for smuggling medicines into the Yemeni market.