UNAFFORDABLITY OF DRUGS

113

The Gambian public has been faced with shocking news of deaths of children due to medicinal products. The government had set up a committee to consult and advise on how to prevent recurrence.

Deaths may be caused by consumption of drugs of low quality or the unavailability or unaffordability of drugs. The solution of the problem is to prevent recurrence without committing problems worse than before. It is the desire of MCA to have listed and registered drugs to be in circulation. However, policies could create more losses and worsen situations that are meant to be addressed. The best way to solve problems is to have foresight and create procedures before goods are imported to ensure that their importation and distribution are in line with stated procedures.

However, if policies rely on hindsight and measures are put in place after medicines are already imported, the application of the procedures could have an effect that would have the effect of the very opposite of what was intended. In short, prices of certain drugs are increasing. It is claimed that they are stocked at the ports to wait for procedures to be complied with after the drugs have arrived.

It is therefore important for the minister to monitor the development and find an immediate solution. Drugs that are not kept in the right environment may be destroyed by the time they reach the consumer. In the same vein, when drugs are hoarded they may cause shortages and price increases. A person who is ill and cannot afford to purchase medication is unfairly put on death row. New Gambia must avoid such a predicament.