Counterfeit pharmaceuitcal drugs are a threat to the health of the public
Rwanda just like any other country faces pharmaceutical crimes where counterfeit or wrong drugs are brought onto the market.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 percent of drugs are wrongly used and up to 20 percent of drugs in many developing countries are counterfeit.
According to the Rwanda National Police (RNP) and other concerned institutions, in the past few years they have managed to intercept and seize some drugs smuggled or illicit pharmaceuticals in the country.
“We are committed to fighting pharmaceutical crimes; the fight against pharmaceutical crime is crucial and very important in order to protect public health at national level,” say the police spokesperson Theos Badege.
Fake drugs often contain the wrong amounts of active ingredients which pose a major health risk. Police together with pharmaceutical sector regulators are on alert to crackdown on counterfeit and illegal importation of drugs.
Many people risk death or serious injuries when they unknowingly use and consume counterfeit pharmaceuticals and products manufactured and supplied illegally.
There have been initiatives to raise public awareness about the dangers of illegal pharmaceuticals which threaten the health of the general public.
Statistics show that in 2010, Rwanda National Police together with other partners conducted an operation to crack down drugs smugglers.
At that time, about 90 kilograms of counterfeit and unauthorized drugs were seized in 37 wholesale and retail pharmacies, dispensaries and clinics in Kigali, Rubavu and Rusizi districts.
This followed the impounding of other smuggled drugs in operations that had earlier been conducted, especially in the Western Province towns.