The Liberia Pharmacy Board (LPB) has alarmed over the huge circulation of falsified or fake medicines across the country, when the Chief Executive of the Board, Dr. Menon P.Z. Dunah said Liberia being surrounded by three countries of many unchecked borders, is the conduit for the transportation of fake medicines.
On Thursday, August 25, 2022 during the induction ceremony of the Board of Trustees of the Liberia Pharmacy Board, held at the Bela casa in Monrovia, Mr. Dunah who is also the Registrar General of Board termed the situation as a menace and said it has been a challenging task to mitigate the problem.
“To clean up this menace is a huge task for the Pharmacy Board of the Republic of Liberia. There are more drug stores that need to be brought to justice because they are in violation of the law”, he noted while reading the overview of the program.
However, as he stressed on the decentralization process among other initiatives of the LPB, he called for concerted efforts of stakeholders in the health sector to support the Board in mitigating the problem to save the lives of patients.
Serving the keynote of the instillation ceremony, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative, Dr. Clement Lugala Peters said, Liberia needs a strong Pharmacy board to achieve public health goods of the country, mentioning that the health challenges are enormous and test the ability of the system to provide the relevant solutions and innovations.
“Safeguarding and streamlining the pharmaceutical practice in the country, while improving Liberia’s health system by ensuring access to safe, quality and efficacious medicines remain the hallmark of the urgent work as you embark on this new journey and responsibilities”, said Dr. Peters.
The core purpose of the Liberia Pharmacy Board from its founding members’ includes the regulation of, compliance with and distribution of safe medicines in the country.
On the basis, the WHO envoy enjoined the new leadership and the entire health system by suggesting some measures in tackling the problem of falsified or fake medicines, to include instituting regulations or legal framework to handle counterfeit of falsified medicines.
He added that improving surveillance to provide up-to-date information on specific poor quality medicines, tackling corruption for the success of the crusade against fake medicines, and maintaining the quality of medicines as an essential component of medical care.
Outlining further measures, he said enforcing health information and education to the general public. Increasing supervision and monitoring at various pharmacies as well as heath facilities, and building the capacity of the private sector especially reporting on poor quality medicines, registration checks and consumer awareness.
Continuing, he said empowering consumers to safeguard the authenticity of their own medicines at point-of purchase. Capitalization on the role of community leaders, politicians, drug controllers, doctors among others, to champion the fight against falsified medicines.
In conclusion, “I call upon you to be vanguard in the fight against substandard and counterfeit medicines because they cause more harm than helping the patients. Strong partnership and collaboration with the relevant institutions including the Pharmacy board is critical to ensure availability and access to quality medicines for attainment of universal health coverage and better health outcomes for Liberia”, he pointed out.
Board Chairman, Mr. Arthur Loryoun noted that his leadership will take some strong advocacy role with the government of Liberia to increase the budgetary strength of the institution, saying we must be very strong to support the secretariat to certainly make the impact required.
“We believe coming to this position and working with my colleagues we shall achieve. As we take over this duty working with the Secretariat, we will promote research and continue development, to build the capacity of pharmacists”, he said, and added that LPB will continue to collaborate and coordinate with stakeholders including LDEA, and also with Ministry of Commerce on price regulation.
Those inducted to steer the affairs of the Board of Trustees of the Liberia Pharmacy Board include, Pharm. Arthur Loryoun, Chairman, Pharm. John T. Harris, member, Dr. Albertha J. N. Clarke, member, Pharm. Matilnue D. Fahnbulleh, member, and Pharm. James Mulbah.