The National Drug Authority (NDA) has threatened to close down pharmacies across the country, that are mainly operated by traders without full time pharmacists, to ensure safe and effective medication use.
In his acceptance speech at the 6th NDA board inaugural ceremony, Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, the newly appointed NDA chairman, outlined professionalism in the drug industry, as one of the five important aspects that he hopes to put more emphasis on.
‘Promotion of licensing of competent pharmacies that are regularly physically supervised by qualified pharmacists but not mere traders,” DR Bitekyerezo told the newly appointed board members.
He added that: “Because traders have money, they have decided to use qualified pharmacists’ certificates to run their pharmacies without the pharmacists regularly and physically supervising the pharmacies.”
The other aspects, he said he would promote the importation of highly efficacious drugs, Strengthening NDA capacity to detect and minimize counterfeit drugs, vigilance in drug inspection and addressing the challenge of tick resistance in the veterinary section.
In close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Dr Bitekyerezo also promised to lobby the first tracking enactment of National Food and Medicine Authority Bill 2017 into law.
The former Mbarara Municipality Member of Parliament and chair of the health committee in the 9th parliament, takes over the mantle from Dr. Sam Zaramba who has been the authority board chairman.
Although NDA is mandated to inspect the quality of both Human and veterinary drugs imported into the country, the public has on many occasions complained about the fake drugs.
In October last year, the agency recalled six types of drugs and vaccines from the market after investigations indicated that they were not safe for public use.
The Health Minister, Dr Ruth Aceng who officiated the ceremony, pledged that the National Food and Medicine Authority Bill 2017 will by June this year have been put into law so as to regulate counterfeit drugs.
The 6th 19 member board includes;
1. Dr. Bitekyerezo K. Medard - Chairman
2. Brig. (Dr) Ambrose K. Musinguzi - Chief of Medical Services, Ministry of Defense
3. Mr. Agaba Raymond - Commissioner Internal Trade, Min. of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives
4. Dr. Mbabali Muhammad - Uganda Dental Association
5. Dr. Sekagya Yahaya Hills - Uganda Herbalists
6. Dr. Pakoyo Kamba Fadhiru - School of Pharmacy
7. Dr. Namaala Hanifa Sengendo - Public Representative
8. Mr. Kimbowa Sembatya Yusuf - Public Representative
9. Dr. Christine Ondoa - Uganda AIDS Commission
10. Dr. Bildard Baguma - Joint Medical Store
11. Dr. Sylvia Baluka Angubua - Uganda Veterinary Association
12. Dr. Edward Kasirye Bainda - Uganda Medical Association
13. Mr. Kamabare Moses - National Medical Stores
14. Dr. Baterana B. Byarugaba - Mulago National Referral Hospital
15. Prof. Anthony Kabanza Mbonye - Director General Health Services, Ministry of Health
16. Mr. Morris Seru - Commissioner Health Services (Pharmacy) Ministry of Health
17. Dr. Grace Nambatya Kyeyune - Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Laboratory
18. Ms. Grace Akullo - Criminal Investigation Department
19. Dr. Rose Ademun Okurut - Commissioner of Veterinary Services, MAAIF
- Most pharmacies are operated by traders and not Professional pharmacists.