The Secretary of Health says regulations governingthe distribution of medical drugs need to be tightened so that distributors of counterfeit drugs can be exposed.
Dr. Paison Dakulala said all law enforcement agents need to co-operate in this area.
The health department wants stakeholders such asthe police, Customs, IRCPNG Ports, NAQIA and universities to address issues of counterfeit drugs.
The checks and balances are non-existent today.
Common drugs such as amoxicillin capsules and panadol tablets are traded openly onthe streets and by unauthorised shops.
Dr Dakulala saysthe current National Drug Policy 1998 andthe Medicines & Cosmetics Act 1999 need a thorough review.
He urged people purchase medicines upon prescription and from recognised dealers such as pharmaceutical shops.
Doctors warn thatthe human body could therwise develop resistance to a particular drug when using counterfeit copies ofthe original drugs.
Examples are highlighted in Extreme Drug resistant TBeinthe Western province and severe cases of malaria and meningit’s.
When asked about concerns of drug potency in hospitals, Dr Dakulala saidthe country has a Central Public Health laboratory atthe Port Moresby General Hospital where drugs are tested for their potency.
He saysthe department is inthe process to purchase some more drug testing machines, however saysthese machines are expensive to buy.
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