Trade

A phenomenon that is growing and worries pharmacists

The illicit sale of drugs and health products outside legal channels continues to arouse the anger and indignation of pharmaceutical players. A phenomenon that amplified during the pandemic, when we witnessed the sale of Covid-19 treatments and antigenic tests on social networks, without control any.

Despite judicial and security interventions in this direction, this scourge still exists, because of ” the absence » of a joint action plan of the government parties concerned.

The rise of e-commerce of medicines and non-pharmaceutical products in the Kingdom was observed during the health crisis. Several digital platforms have thus participated in the marketing of drugs beyond the control of the Code of Medicines and Pharmacy. A practice, which has prompted pharmacists to step up the movements of professional organizations and electronic devices to fight against crime against the sale of drugs via the Internet.

Towards mid-2021, the Attorney General published a circular addressed to the Attorneys General at the Courts of Appeal and to the King’s Attorneys at the Courts of First Instance, relating to the fight and the reprimand of the sale, and marketing illicit pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products.

The aforementioned circular called for tackling this phenomenon by activating the provisions of Law No. 17.04 as the Medicines Code, and other legal texts, alerting at the same time to the illegal sale, distribution and dispensing of drugs and health products to the public pose a threat to public health.

In this regard, Amine Bouzoubaa, Secretary General of the Confederation of Pharmacists’ Unions of Morocco, said that “ the phenomenon has intertwined dimensions that require the coordination of ministerial and local authorities to combat it “, noting that” the confederation sent numerous correspondences to the Ministry of Health on the documented cases “.

In a statement to Hespress on this subject, the trade unionist found that the interaction with these cases was weak , considering that “ the real intervention should not be limited to the follow-up of isolated cases, but rather the elimination of drug trafficking by adopting a clear and methodological action plan“.

These drugs are smuggled through the northern and eastern borders of the Kingdom, which requires coordination between the Ministry of Health, the Customs Directorate and the Ministry of the Interior at the local level, through the establishment of anti-corruption campaigns. inspection which include stores and increased surveillance for cybercrime “, recommends Bouzoubaa.

According to the trade unionist, the Confederation of Pharmacists now exercises police missions that do not fall within its remit “. “Pharmacists follow up cases of illegal trade in medicines with the public prosecutor’s office”, he noted, noting that “ legal proceedings are initiated against the individuals involved, in order to dismantle and possibly stop the criminal networks “.

However, Amine Bouzoubaa considers that ” pharmacists want to stop the phenomenon rather than limit themselves to isolated cases “, revealing that” the Confederation contacted the Ministry of the Interior on this subject, via correspondence, as well as the General Directorate of Customs, but without response, which calls for the importance of coordination between the various players in the sector “.

Ultimately, the trade unionist warned against ” the danger of the illegal distribution of these drugs for the public health of Moroccans, given that the process is limited to pharmacists who are specialized in drug-related issues“, alerting on” drugs that are on sale in medical supply stores and that pose a danger to the health of the citizen, given the confusion between cosmetics, drugs and sterile medical supplies “.

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