The Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) on Tuesday in Monrovia, burned several cartoons of “spoiled medicines” the entity seized from Shree Krishna Pharmacy in Logan Town, on Bushrod Island. The burning exercise was performed in Careysburg, Montserrado County.
Shree Krishna Pharmacy is an Indian-owned business entity in the country. They also own and operate the Emergency Health Center, also in Logan Town.
LMHRA said the value of the spoiled medicine, which totaled 253 cartoons, cost about US$35,000.
Paul Higgins, LMHRA Post Market Surveillance Officer, who served as one of the monitors during the burning exercise, said the medicines were ordered burned because of poor storage condition, which exposed the medicines to conditions that rendered them unhygienic for use.
“We are here to get rid of the waste from Shree Krishna warehouse. This contains medicines that the business owners brought into the country; they were at first genuine when we tested them. At that time, the LMHRA noticed they were fit for human consumption, but due to leakages in the warehouse, the medicines were damaged, thereby making them unfit for consumption,” Higgins said.
Higgins, himself a pharmacist, said the Act establishing the LMHRA that mandates that body to establish its own regulations to beef up the regulatory authority’s mandate, is to ensure that no more “expired pharmaceutical products find their way to the markets and in some of the health facilities, including drug stores.
“We came and quarantined the ones being burnt after we investigated and observed that they were no longer good to be administered to patients,” Higgins said.
The LMHRA is working with authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP), local administrators and other security officers in the various counties to ensure that the importation of counterfeit and expired drugs come to an end.
Therefore, Higgins has warned importers of drugs to make sure that their products meet regulatory requirements, are stored under ideal conditions, and are removed from the shelves after expiry date.
Meanwhile, the destruction of the pharmaceutical products complements the effort of the LMHRA to continue monitoring and executing policies regulating medical practices in the country.