Friday, 07 October 2022: The Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) conducted inspection of pharmaceutical warehouses from 12th – 26th September 2022 in Montserrado County.
Proper storage of medicines is important to ensure the quality, effectiveness and safety of the medicines. The loss of potency during storage may influence the therapeutic outcome, efficacy and safety of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical products require controlled storage and transit conditions in order to ensure that their quality is not compromised. Storage is an important aspect of the total drug control system. Proper environmental control (i.e., proper temperature, light, and humidity, conditions of sanitation, ventilation, and segregation) must be maintained wherever drugs and supplies are stored in the premises.
It is against this backdrop, and in pursuant to the mandate of the LMHRA that the Department of Inspectorate and Post Market Surveillance, along with the Communications Unit, carried out a 14-day rigorous premise inspection of all pharmaceutical warehouses within Montserrado County. This exercise was intended to ensure that importers are in adherence to the regulatory policy promulgated by the LMHRA regarding the storage condition of all medicines and health products. Medical products may be subjected to various risks at different stages in the supply chain, for example: purchasing, storage, repackaging, relabelling, transportation and distribution.
During the 14-day inspection, the LMHRA teams inspected all warehouses across central Monrovia by dividing the city into segments. The teams moved into other areas inspecting warehouses along Bushrod Island, the Sinkor area, Tubman Boulevard, and Old Road routes, Congo Town and Gardnersville, along the Japanese Drive.
Substandard and falsified products are a significant threat to public health and safety. Poor-quality medicines—those that are unregistered, substandard, or falsified—can endanger patients, extend illness unnecessarily, and even result in death. Poor-quality medicines also undermine efforts to improve health and strengthen health systems, erode public confidence in those same systems, and may contribute to antimicrobial resistance. Consequently, it is essential to protect the supply chain through regular regulatory inspection to curb the penetration of such products. A total of seventy-four (74) pharmacies, with 116 warehouses, were inspected.
Regulatory actions will be taken against any pharmacy failing to adhere to the Authority’s Guidelines on storage of pharmaceutical products. With the mandate to “protect the public from the harmful effects of substandard and Falsified (SF) medicines and health products”, coupled with “ensuring that, in the national medicine supply system, only safe, effective, and good quality medicines reach the Liberian public for consumption, promulgate regulations to fight illegal trade in medicines, including counterfeit and adulterated medicines and health products and fair trade practices”, the LMHRA remains unwavering in enforcing established guidelines and regulations to protect the public.