ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Health has reassured citizens that medicine and drugs entering the region are of good quality and under regulation while warning people not to buy packages which are absent of the Ministry’s stamp.
“Every month, over 1,000 types of medicines are screened, and thousands of tons of medicines are monitored before they are sold in pharmacies,” Health Minister Rikut Hama Rashid told Kurdistan 24.
According to the Health Minister, the Kurdistan Region has improved its inspection of medicine compared to five years ago. “Now, 90 percent of the medicines that enter Kurdistan are examined in the laboratories of standardization and quality control.”
“We were able to seize large amounts of fake medicine, and we have brought many drug smugglers to the courts to get them punished,” Rashid added.
Last week, police in Erbil seized stores of banned, unlicensed, and counterfeit medicines and made several arrests as part of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) crackdown on backdoor dealings in the pharmaceutical industry intensifies.
In mid-October, the KRG put into effect new regulations on the Region’s pharmaceutical industry after sales of counterfeit drugs and claims of shady deals between doctors and companies selling or distributing medicines raised concerns among the local population.
“We are working on the establishment of a joint government and private company, so the government has the upper hand to ensure the purchase, introduction, and control of medicines entering the region,” Rashid stated.
The Health Minister also warned citizens not to buy medicines from places other than registered pharmacies, noting that the packages must have the Ministry’s seal on them.