The National Drug Authority-NDA has started enforcing a law stopping Clinics from displaying and selling drugs.
NDA is mandated by the National Drug Policy and Authority Act 1993 to ensure the availability, at all times, of essential, efficacious and cost-effective drugs to the entire population of Uganda, as a means of providing satisfactory health care and safeguarding the appropriate use of drugs.
The act also stipulates the roles of pharmacies, clinics and drug shops. In April this year, the National Drug Authority embarked on the strict enforcement of the law. NDA ordered clinic operators to stop public display and sell of drugs and stick to the provisions of the law. Julius Babiha, the NDA Drug Information Officer explains that that clinics, pharmacies and drug shops hold different licenses.
Babiha says while drug shops and pharmacies are allowed to display and sell drugs, clinics are only licensed to administer treatment. However, the decision to enforce the law has not gone down well with clinic operator.
Anxious Ahereza, a Comprehensive Nurse at Kisaakye Clinic in Bwaise believes NDA embarked on this campaign because of complaints from pharmacist and drug shop attendants.
He says people in need of basic drugs such as paracetamol find it easy to access the medicine from the clinics instead of pharmacies.
Fahimah Namugerwa, a nurse at MK medical center says that a team of NDA officials stormed their premises and ordered them to stop displaying drugs but no explanation was given.