In Mauritania, the poor quality of medicines on sale in the country’s pharmacies is a notorious fact of life. These drugs do not cure the diseases for which they are prescribed and their effect, if any, appears only after a long period of consumption, often leading to negative side effects. Furthermore, Mauritanian patients who seek treatment abroad, especially in Senegal and Tunisia, are diagnosed with the same illnesses and prescribed the same drugs as in their home country. Except these medicines actually work.
After the new minister’s appointment, his department inspected pharmacies to ensure their compliance with the regulations in force, including the existence of an authorization process to open, and a trained pharmacist, in addition to refrigerators for the conservation of products. As a result of the inspections, many pharmacies voluntarily declared quantities of expired products that were destroyed by the department. “Once we have a laboratory that can verify the composition of drugs, we will seriously address this issue,” he said in a television broadcast a few days ago. The minister even made it clear that penalties for sellers of falsified pharmaceuticals will not be limited to the closure of pharmacies but can go as far as prosecution. The firmness displayed by Mr Hamed and the measures already taken against pharmacies have been widely welcomed by Mauritanians, especially on social media.
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