Low quality medicines still sold in Kandahar: Residents

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The residents of southern Kandahar province say low quality medicines imported by local druggists, especially from Pakistan, have more side effects than advantage.

Keeping medicines in unsuitable temperature, storing them in inappropriate places and buying from companies with low credentials are some of the issues which need to be addressed, say the residents.

Taj Mohammad, a resident of 11th Police District of Kandahar City, told Pajhwok Afghan News that unfortunately despite the passage of many years low quality drugs continued to be brought to Kandahar province.

He said the bulk of low quality medicines were smuggled to Afghanistan and the officials concerned had failed to prevent them.

Mahbobul Haq, another resident, complained he purchased medicines at a local shop but they had no impact on his health. He said substandard and low quality medicines were brought from Pakistan.

Physicians and health workers in Kandahar said low quality and expired drugs could not help recover patients.

Dr. Mohammad Nabi acknowledged some companies manufactured and dispatched low quality medicines to the country.

Currently 170 medicine companies have been registered in Kandahar who import medicines from Pakistan and other countries.

Malem Mir Ahmad, deputy head of the Medicines Importing Companies Association, said he had asked all the association members to ensure the import of quality medicines.

He said a fully equipped laboratory should be established in Kandahar to test the quality of medicines.

He said some businessmen wanted to import high quality medicines from the US and Europe.

Mohammad Sedique Momand, the owner of Momand Pharma, said he established the company after multiple complaints about the import of low quality drugs.

He said he had signed a contract with a company which supplied him medicines from the US and Europe.

He said he planned to import medicines from the foreign company with his name, brand and packaging with literature in Pashto language. He said raw materials would be brought from abroad and production would be started at home.

He said medicines lost their quality in the absence of standard keeping and importing facilities but they brought medicines in freezers-fixed containers.

He said the Momand Pharma was the first factory of its kind in Afghanistan, which has international licenses.

Kandahar Public Health hospital director Dr. Abdul Qauim Pukhla told Pajhwok they urged druggists and chemists in a latest meeting of coordination to import quality and standard medicines to the country.

He said drug sellers should consider people’s health and avoid importing low quality medicines to the country 

He said medicines importing firms should also consider all related principles in mind and the violators should face legal punishment.

He said they destroyed 55 tons of low-quality and expired medicines within the past one week — indicating increase in the availability of low quality medicines in the province.

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