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MoPH vows to stop import of low quality medicines

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: As majority of local markets have been occupied by low quality medicines, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday said different plans have been taken on hand to prevent import of poor quality medicines and purchase high quality drugs from well-known and trustworthy manufacturers.

“The only way to stop import of low quality medicines is interference of the government and buying drugs from credible companies,” said Firozuddin Firoz, the minister of public health.

He said medicines imported by a number of investors are not dependable; therefore the ministry is committed to import high quality medicines independently or in collaboration with private sector. “We are working on two options to overcome the import of low quality medicines—the first option is to import high quality medicines by the pharmacy department and selling it to private sector, while the second option includes attracting the attention of the private sector to cooperate the ministry in importing quality medicines from well-known manufacturers,” he noted.

He said the plans will be implemented in near future.

Hinting at traveling of Afghans abroad for treatment purposes, the minister said people travel to other countries for treatment due to lack of modern health facilities in public and private hospitals as well as low quality medicines in local markets. “Healthcare services will not improve until the problems are not resolved,” he added.

It is said that lack of high quality medicines has damaged doctors’ reputation and has undermined treatment of patients in the country. Afghans pay nearly $300 million on annual basis for quality treatment in foreign countries and the Afghan government sustains a big financial damage in this regard.

The MoPH officials stressed that healthcare services will improve and people will not travel abroad for treatment, if the ministry succeeded to import high quality medicines from well-known and credible manufacturers.

Member of health commission of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament, Naqibullah Fayiq, welcomed the measures and plans of the MoPH to import high quality medicines, and said the decision will not only improve healthcare services but will result in economic development as well.

He said unsound competitions among private medicine importers have pushed them to import low quality medicines, and this endangers the lives of citizens.

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