Afghanistan
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AFDA orders quality control tests on all imported food and drugs

(Last Updated On: August 31, 2023)

The Pharmaceutical Services Union in Herat says that medicines are still being smuggled into Afghanistan despite efforts made to clamp down on the practise.

According to union officials, these drugs are identifiable, so the price difference is noticeable in the markets.

Consumers meanwhile have complained that some pharmacies are charging exorbitant prices for medicines.

“Instead of cooperating with the people, it is noticed that the price of medicine has increased in pharmacies, or companies supply the same medicine under their own name,” Ahmad Fardin Jami, a resident of Herat, says.

“The Directorate of Public Health should have a regular plan to monitor pharmacies,” Abdul Wahid Mufaker, a resident of Herat, says.

The Union of Pharmaceutical Services in the western zone believes that the pharmaceutical market is still not fully controlled, that drug smuggling continues, and different companies import drugs with special marks, so the price difference in the drug market is noticeable.

“The laws are still not implemented 100%. The facilities of the relevant bodies are not so extensive to control fully. There are pharmaceutical unions all over Afghanistan, and this chain of unions controls the market to some extent, but the unions are not executive offices,” Abdul Karim Shirzad, the head of the Pharmaceutical Services Union in western zone, says.

However, the Public Health Directorate emphasized that serious actions have been taken against those who overcharged or had license issues.

“The Public Health Directorate has always matched the documents that the drug company bought with the price it sells in its monitoring programs, but we also witnessed cases where violations indicating instances of overcharging have taken place,” Mohammad Asif Kabir, Deputy Director of Public Health in Herat, says.

Some medicine sellers say that prices in the global markets are changing.

“Currently, the drugs that are sold in the market are original and high-quality drugs from reputable international companies,” Fereydoun Tokhi, the lawyer of the Pharmacists Association of Herat city, says.

“There are two arguments here, one is that people say that the drug has become expensive. The next is that if we consider globally, raw materials have become expensive all over the world,” Khalid Ahmad Ghafouri, a drug importer, says.

There are hundreds of pharmacies and drug importing companies in Herat, and the issue of price difference has always been a serious problem for the people.