Pharmacists want an insulator in Kampala

HEALTH

KAMPALA – Local pharmacists have asked the Government to put in place an insulator in Kampala to allow easy transportation and disposal of expired drugs.

They argued that it is costly to transport expired drugs to Nakasongola district, where the only insulator in the country is located.

The proposal was made by the secretary of the Pharmaceutical Association of Uganda, Samuel Opio while appearing before MPs on the health committee of Parliament on Tuesday. He was presenting their problems concerning the National Drug Authority.

“Expired medicines are hazardous wastes which cannot be disposed anyhow, but we have challenges with costs involved in transporting them from our pharmacies. For instance, to dispose of 100kg of expired medicine, I need to pay sh800,000,” Opio said.

Last month, the permanent secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwiine, said the ministry had commenced a drive to dispose of expired drugs and obsolete medicines and other health supplies from 6,619 health facilities in Uganda, both governments owned and Private Not For Profit (PNFP).

The pharmacists were meeting MPs to discuss a number of challenges they are facing with NDA among them; NDA’s failure to curb mushrooming illegal drug shops, causing unfair competition and NDA’s double standards in requirements.

They were also querying selective implementation of guidelines, which mostly favour foreign pharmacist at the expense of Ugandans and high taxes on drugs by NDA in terms of verification fees (2%) that has led to high costs of medicines but also created overdependence by NDA on fees paid by pharmacy owners.

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