Protesters Storm LMHRA

-Demand The Resignation of MD David Sumo; Say Fake & Expired Drugs Huge on The Market, Accused Him Of Creating Dubious Multiple Financial Accounts

Some concerned Liberians Monday July 8, 2019 stormed the grounds of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) on Old Road demanding the immediate resignation of the entity’s Managing Director, Mr. David Sumo.

According to the aggrieved Liberians, fake and expired drugs have overwhelmed the market with the management of the LMHRA headed by Mr. David Sumo doing nothing about it.

The group, predominantly young men carried placards with various inscriptions calling for the resignation of Mr. Sumo or he must do the right things if he wants to remain at the institution as its head.

They sang: “David Sumo your kingdom must come down and Pro-Poor kingdom must go up”. They also alleged that the institution’s head has connived to have dubious multiple accounts thereby undermining the true intent of the Liberian Government.

The aggrieved Liberians also alleged that inspectors of the LMHRA are not doing their work as fake and expired drugs swanned the market and vowed to stage a weeklong protest until the head of the entity, Mr. Sumo resigns his post.

“Your administration is a mess. We will stage a weeklong protest here and ensure the health of our people including ourselves is prioritized by this LMHRA headed by David Sumo. Our people in Sinoe need good medicines, not fake or expired drugs,” they said as they sang revolutionary songs in circle on the grounds of the LMHRA.

When contacted, the Communication Director of the LMHRA confirmed that the market is polluted with fake & expired drugs, but said the LMHRA is doing everything possible to ensure the market is clean and safe for all.

According to Hugh P. Bladee, II, their robust inspectors are working hard to clean the market of expired drugs. Bladee said some pharmacies that had expired drugs are temporarily closed and investigations are underway; while those expired drugs are confiscated for destructions.

He confirmed that they started the inspection in Montserrado County and are now moving into other counties in an effort to clean the market, but said they are constrained with funding to meet their targets as an institution responsible for regulation in the country.

On the issue of multiple dubious accounts at the entity, the LMHRA’s Communication Director further urged the protesters to channel their concerns in a proper manner rather than assumption.

According to him, the aggrieved Liberians should seek the Freedom of Information (FOI) and request their institution of relevant information they want rather than assumption, saying they must structure their concerns.

“They should seek the FOI, we are not hiding anything. We will make the payroll available to them. We are open to discussions,” Bladee, II added.

In 2010, the government of Liberia established the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) to combat the proliferation of substandard and falsified medicines. LMHRA was born of a collaboration with the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program, funded by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention.

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