Gov’t Revokes Importation License of Atlantic Pharmaceutical

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By Nelson Manneh

The Government of The Gambia has permanently revoked the importation license of Atlantic Pharmaceutical Company Limited. This decision came after the presidential task force on the Acute Kidney Injury disease (AKI), launched their report on Friday 21st July 2023, on the deaths of seventy children which deaths was attributed to Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), and recommended for the Government of The Gambia to permanently revoke the importation license of Atlantic Pharmaceutical Company Limited and their directors. The task force also recommended for the Government of The Gambia to refer the matter of Sait Kebbeh, the Supervising Pharmacist for Atlantic Pharmaceuticals to the Pharmacy Council for appropriate disciplinary action and for the Government through the Pharmacy Council, Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology and the University of The Gambia, to prioritize the establishment of a School of Pharmacy at the University of The Gambia to meet the growing demand of Pharmacists in the country.

Reacting to these recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on AKI, Dr Samateh said the matter of Sait Kebbeh will be immediately referred to the Pharmacy Council for appropriate disciplinary action. The task force also recommended for the Government of the Gambia through the MOH, to review the laws and regulations surrounding the granting of importation licenses and to instill stringent conditions so as to ensure that importers are approved based on their qualification of operating with a sense of accountability and responsibility, rather than being principally driven by profit.

Reacting to the above recommendation, Minister Samateh said the Ministry of Health has retained an experienced firm that is currently carrying out a review of all health-related Legislation in the country, and said this will be carried out as part of the ongoing review of the acts under the MOH.

“The Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, should forthwith explore the possibility of instituting further legal action against Atlantic Pharmaceuticals and Maiden Pharmaceuticals, and should engage with the Government of India, to seek criminal and civil redress on behalf of families of victims of the AKI outbreak,” the report stated.

Minister Samateh said the Government is far advanced in exploring avenues for potential legal action against Atlantic Pharmaceuticals and Maiden Pharmaceuticals, as well as potential redress through engagement with the Government of India, and said Government is currently benefiting from legal advice from a top tier international law firm.