Officials at the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday said that about 50 percent of pharmaceuticals coming in to the country, particularly from Pakistan, are being smuggled into the country.
They said that there is no proper monitoring system in place to oversee the importation of these drugs.
The statements came during the opening of a pharmaceutical laboratory in Kabul on Thursday. Present at the event was CEO Abdullah Abdullah, the minister of health and other high-ranking officials.
It is hoped that with the establishment of this laboratory, Afghanistan will be able to monitor the illicit pharmaceutical trade in the country.
More than 50 percent of the medicines are being smuggled into the country and sold to the people, said Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz on Thursday.
The laboratory will also help to ensure the quality of drugs coming into the country.
“More than 50 percent of the drugs are coming to the country through illicit trade; open borders with some neighboring countries is one of the key reasons for that; secondly the law in this respect has been implemented in a manner which has paved the way for corruption,” said Feroz.
Meanwhile, the CEO said that the importation of low quality drugs is of concern especially as it could be detrimental to the health of people.
“We should handle this in a way to prevent corruption, including at borders; I expect the minister of health to pay attention to all sectors particularly when it comes to this issue; the level of tolerance in this respect must be zero,” said the CEO.
The public health ministry has said that $2 million USD has been allocated for the laboratory. Another $2.5 million USD is expected to be spent on equipment for the lab and capacity building programs.