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16 chain drug stores being created nationwide

16 chain drug stores being created nationwide

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On
Mar 13, 2018 - 18:01

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in a first will establish 16 chain pharmacies to keep in check medicines’ quality, prices and create jobs, the minister said on Tuesday.

Public Health Minister Firozuddin Firoz, introducing ‘A’ license agreement for chain pharmacies here, said the plan had been prepared by the National Medicine & Health Products Regulatory Authority (NMHRA) and approved by the Presidential Palace.

He said the 16 chain pharmacies would be created across the country according to the plan.

Seven of the stores would be created in areas across the country considering local people’s requirements  next solar year, that begins on March 22.

“The presence of a pharmacist in every drug store, prevention of drug sales without doctor’s prescription, prepaying 15 million afghanis by the owner of each chain drug store and access to quality medicines are key points of the license agreement,” he said.

Preventing drug imports of multiple brands, price tagging on medicines, preventing sales of smuggled and fake drugs, better control on distribution of medicines and increasing the country’s revenue were other important points of the license agreement, Firoz said.

He added applicants could present their proposals to NMHRA until Jun 12. Based on the license agreement, the applicant must create 500 chain drug stores across the country during the next five years.

“Assessment of pharmacies individually is a hard job for the private sector but we can better evaluate chain drug stores, the new plan covers at least 500 drug stores (30 percent new drug stores and 70 percent old ones) and the owner of each chain is responsible for any violations of the entire chain,” he said.

Firoz said the entire chain of drug stores was to be managed by a single system and they would provide medicines from well-known international and domestic companies.

Currently more than 14,000 drug stores operate individually in the country, with some being substandard, he said, adding that currently drug stores covered 10,000 patients each but the chain pharmacies would would cover 1,600 people each.

He said creation of NMHRA had helped bring about fundamental changes in controlling medicines in the country’s drug markets.

Alhaj Rahmuddin Haji Agha, head of high consultative board and Afghan entrepreneurs, said that currently 22 drug production companies were operational in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Nangarhar provinces and they manufactured 122 types of drugs.

However, he said that the government did not use the products of domestic companies. “The government is not creating such a culture to promote domestic products, I personally produce 10 types of medicines which have high quality,” he said.

Agha said the president had ordered consumption of 25 percent of domestic products by the government, but the order remained unenforced.

“We support this license agreement, it is the interest of our people,” he concluded.

mds/ma     

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