Antigua: Crackdown on unlicensed pharmacies

By Antigua Observer

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The Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry of Health, Alfred Athill

(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – The public is being put on notice that individuals engaging in the sale of pharmaceuticals without the proper legal authority to do so will be dealt with severely.

This is according to Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry of Health, Alfred Athill who said individuals found

selling pharmaceutical items in contraband locations will be prosecuted going forward.

“This is a call to persons involved in this illegal practice, to stop, because there are consequences under the law and also, for the general public to be on guard in terms of what they buy and where they buy them,” he said.

There is not an exact figure of how many people are engaged in the illegal sale of medicine, but the Antigua and Barbuda pharmaceutical council is aware that individuals are trading pharmaceuticals without proper authorisation from the pharmacy council.

Athill said the drug inspectors have been “stepping up their game “as it relates to the inspection process and advised the public that they should only be purchasing pharmaceutical and related products from bonafide establishments.

A police officer has been assigned to work with the drug inspectors when they go out in the field, to assist with cracking down on individuals who are not duly licensed to trade in pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Pharmacy Council, Algernon Roberts said, the issue of counterfeit drugs, continues to pose a problem for the island and, people are importing pharmaceuticals bonafide into the country without the knowledge of the ministry of health/pharmacy council.

He said, “steps are being taken to address the issue.”

Anyone who wishes to engage in the practice or sale of pharmaceutical products must apply to the pharmacy council.

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