Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) has closed about 32 healthcare facilities for stocking and dispensing expired drugs contrary to the law.
HPCZ Public Relations Manager, Nhinyota Msimuko said the council has observed a growing trend where some health facilities are stocking and dispensing expired drugs and medical supplies.
“HPCZ recently conducted compliance monitoring inspections in Lusaka and the research signaled an epidemic of expired drugs being administered to the unsuspecting public, but HPCZ will not allow the situation to persist as it compromises patients’ safety,” Msimuko said .
The HPCZ PR said that the council will not allow the said situation to persist as this harms the patients’ safety.
Furthermore, he said the closure will be followed by penalties to health practitioners that run these health facilities.
“In our quest to effectively protect the public and to ensure total compliance to National Health Care Standards, penalties will extend to individual pharmacists and doctors in charge of these facilities,” Msimuko said .
Msimuko said the council will make sure that the owners of these facilities are brought to book.
However, the HPCZ PR has urged health practitioners to strive to uphold professional norms at all times.
Meanwhile, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has warned health facilities to strictly adhere to the medicines and allied substances Act (No.3) of 2013.
ZAMRA Public Relations Manager, Ludovic Mwape said the authority will not hesitate to take legal actions against those who are found wanting.
“Section 60 (1) (2) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act states that a person shall not supply or sell an expired medicine or allied substances,” said Mwape.
He said a person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable upon conviction in the courts of law.