Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), has launched the Sierra Leone National Medicine Policy, a set of guidelines on donations of essential medicines. The need for registration and increased examination of all drugs entering the country, noted health officials, is crucial in combating the sale of counterfeit or expired medications.
"The problems caused by fake drugs in this country are so great, and there is a need to for measures to be put in place in order to stop its continuous flow into the country," said Director General of Medical Services Noah Conteh. He called on the country's Pharmacy Board and the Standards Bureau to ensure that the guidelines provided by the policy are strictly adhered to by all importers and dealers of medicines.
Mohammad Sowa, president of the country's Pharmaceutical Society, commented that the public should be more informed about the dangers of fake drugs, and stressed that those involved in the illegal trade should be reprimanded more severely than they have in the past. "There should be punitive measures outlined for defaulters," he stated.