In anticipation to vigorously discharge its responsibility under the 2010 Act that created the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), the institution has burned over one hundred thousand United States Dollars worth of expired and counterfeit medicines in Ganta Nimba County. As part of a three day inspection, the medicines were seized from hospitals, clinics, drug stores, street peddlers, in Nimba and Lofa Counties, which were subsequently burned over the weekend.
An Assistant Regulatory Officer at the LMHRA Joseph N. Somwarbi disclosed to reporters at the burning site in Ganta, that the expired and counterfeit medicines are increasingly taking over the medical business in Liberia.
Mr. Somwarbi indicated that the LMHRA will double the number of inspectors in the coming year, at least in five areas, to help curb the medical vulnerability Liberians are faced with, as a result of importation and distribution of harmful medicines.
A team of LMHRA inspectors was attacked by a drug store owner in Saclepea Nimba County, and prevented the team from seizing over twenty cartoons of expired and counterfeit medicines, which has necessitated the need for more support to strengthen the newly established entity.
The Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) was established in 2010, by an Act of the National Legislature, to help clean Liberia of harmful and expired and counterfeit medical products entering the country through dubious and other means. Since its establishment, the LMHRA has seized and destroyed close to one million United States Dollars worth of medicines.
Expressing hope to strengthen the institution, Mr. Somwarbi wants more funding to the institution, to help increase inspectorates at major points throughout the country.