NDA Closes Drug Outlets in Acholi Over Non Compliance

During the operation, 248 drug outlets were inspected including pharmacies; 225 drug shops and seven veterinary drug shops.
17 Sep 2021 12:57
Pa Lwak Drug Shop in Lapok Moo Trading Centre, Nwoya District closed for operating without valid license - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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The National Drug Authority – NDA has closed 110 drug outlets in the Acholi sub-region.

The outlets were closed in the districts of Gulu, Omoro, Amuru, Nwoya, Kitgum and Lamwo.

During the operation, 248 drug outlets were inspected including pharmacies; 225 drug shops and seven veterinary drug shops.

The operation is part of a nationwide crackdown on dealers in substandard, and counterfeit medicines, and hawkers of drugs in Northern, Central, West Nile, and Eastern Uganda.

Dorcus Apiyo, who operates a vet drug shop at Onywange Trading Centre in Alokolum Parish, Omoro District said an assortment of drugs worth one million shillings were impounded due to lack of licenses.

Justine Okot, a concerned farmer in Dogayago trading centre, Nwoya District welcomed the crackdown because the drugs affect the local community who are ignorant of the existing laws.

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Samuel Kyomukama, the NDA Head of Enforcement said the drug outlets were closed because some of them were not licensed while others were being operated by unqualified personnel.

Kyomukama explained that operating without a valid license contravenes the National Drug Policy and Authority Act as well as the licensing guidelines.

More than 180 boxes of assorted drugs estimated at 55.2 million shillings were impounded from the illegal outlets.

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Dr David Kaggwa, the NDA Northern Region Manager revealed that through the Post-Market Surveillance Unit –PSU, they are currently monitoring the market against smuggled and unregistered drugs and arrest the offenders.

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In 2020, the NDA licensed a total of 1,803 drug shops and 80 pharmacies in Northern Uganda meanwhile this year, 1,900 drug outlets have applied for the license.

During financial 2019/2020, NDA in four different operations surveyed 2,511 drug outlets, leading to the closure of 816 of them. The outlets surveyed included 90 veterinaries, 175 pharmacies and 250 clinics (for displaying medicines).

The entire operation to date has protected an estimated 408,000 unsuspecting persons of unlicensed and unqualified drug outlet operators.

The authority now moves to conduct the same operation in Lango sub-region that includes districts Lira, Alebtong, Otuke, Kwania, Apac, Oyam, Kole and Dokolo.