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The pharmacy business is expanding in Mozambique. Photo: DW
A trial of strength between the government and private pharmacies is under way in Mozambique, with the government criticising private pharmacies over the safe storage of medicines and expressing doubts about the provenance of some medicines. Last year alone, 65 pharmacies were determined as having compliance issues and fines equivalent to 3,500 Euros imposed.
The pharmacy business is expanding in Mozambique and, at times of crisis, stepping in to cover the lack of medicines in public hospitals. But authorities say they are on the look-out for medicines being sold in dubious circumstances.
“Our activities include collecting samples and asking pharmacies to verify the origin of products. If they cannot demonstrate the provenance, we seize the products and fine them,” Inspector of National Health Castro Lole explains.
Mozambican health authorities complain of the frequent theft of medicines from the national health service, often then channelled for sale in the private sector.
Because of the lack of medicines in public hospitals, many users turn to private pharmacies because they find what they want there. The problem is that each pharmacy sets its own price.
Pharmacists deny charges
Private pharmacies, on the other hand, deny the government’s accusation that they are selling drugs of dubious origin. The owner and pharmacist Januário Jamisse explained that pharmacies do not import medicines.
“There are entities and companies legislated to import drugs, and we go to the importer and buy drugs there,” Jamisse explains.
Pharmacists also say that the poor storage has more to do with pharmacists who are not qualified to deal with such situations.
According to the pharmacist Zita Goveo, the problem is unqualified pharmacists who prescribe drugs that are not suitable for patients.
“I know there are unqualified assistants in some pharmacies. The ministry has to do more about this, because they do exist. I went to a pharmacy and saw it myself,” she told DW Africa.Source: Deutsche Welle
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