National Drug Authority (NDA) has impounded drugs worth Shs160 million from illegal dealers during a two-week law enforcement exercise in three sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, and Lango.
This is part of NDA’s routine post-market surveillance intended to protect the human and animal population from drugs and health care products that are substandard.
The Authority said such unscrupulous operators compromise the quality of health services where medicines available on the market fail to treat the stated diseases and conditions resulting in treatment failures.
The enforcement operation covered the districts of Abim, Agago, Aleptong, Amolator, Amuru, Apac. Others include; Dokolo, Gulu, Kitugum, Kole, Kwania, Lamwo, Lira, Nwoya, Omoro, Otuke, Oyam and Pader.
NDA’s head of enforcement, Mr Samuel Kyomukama said: “763 drug outlets were inspected of which two were pharmacies, 711 human, 25 veterinary, and 25 clinics.”
Mr Kyomukama said 545 boxes of assorted drugs estimated at about Shs160 million were impounded from 349 unlicensed outlets.
“NDA impounded drugs labeled “Government of Uganda, not for sale”, (Lumartem, Artemether/lumefantrine, HIV RDT kits, and determine HIV from Gen Rwoth drug shop in Amuru District. Unregistered medicines (kifaro) smuggled from Kenya were impounded from Ave Maria drug shop in Otuke District,” he said.
He told Daily Monitor that the operators of the affected drugs are all on the run. “Of 711 drug outlets visited, 401 were licensed while 349 were unlicensed,” he said.
Mr Kyomukama appeals to the public to be vigilant and report any drug outlets that do not comply with standards to police, local leaders, and NDA.
Meanwhile, a veterinary Doctor was as a result arrested during a special operation with NDA and police to crack down on unscrupulous and illegal operations in Mutukula in Kyotera district.
Mr Abiaz Rwamwiri, the Public Relations Manager, National Drug Authority, identified the suspect as Philly Kikaawa a licensed and qualified para-veterinarian operating a drug shop in Mutukula town for perpetually counterfeiting veterinary drugs.
He said the suspect was found in possession of counterfeit Alberfas (dewormer), Supona extra, an Acaridae brand marketed by Eram Uganda.
“They have been counterfeiting and smuggling veterinary drugs from neighboring Tanzania and also selling counterfeit products back to Tanzania through the Mutukula border,” Mr Rwamwiri said.
He said the arrest comes at a time when there has been an outcry from farmers about the non-performance of some of the veterinary products in the market.