Medicine Store Owners in Malawi (MESOM) has expressed concern over the conduct of inspectors from Pharmacy and Medicine Regulatory Authority (PMRA) saying they violate rights of women when conducting inspections in medicine stores.
Chairperson for MESOM Prescott Choso said this on Friday when the grouping delivered a petition to Lilongwe district council.
“We are very surprised in most cases to see inspectors from Pharmacy and Medicine Regulatory Authority touching breasts and Private parts of ladies in search for drugs when they come for inspection,” said Choso.
He said they were not saying that inspection is not wrong but the way the inspectors conduct themselves in course of their duty.
Choso said the inspection should be done with respect for human rights but not like with a certain force as if they handle thieves.
Other issues highlighted in the petition they delivered after successfully conducting demonstrations was that PMRA should reverse the decision of banning nurses and clinicians from managing pharmacies.
According to the association, nurses and clinicians have skills and they studied the same pharmacology course as the case with pharmacists.
“In addition to that we established that there is conflict of interest where PMRA employees are running the same business and it is not known if they pay the retention fees,” added Choso.
MESOM Spokesperson Promise Sabola also added that they contribute to national development as they employ over 60, 000 people from 13, 000 membership.
He added that they are surprised as to why the authority is banning them from selling some drugs which are also found in supermarkets but there is no such ban for the supermarkets.
He said government should intervene on the matter considering that people always referred to buy medicines from pharmacies as public hospitals run out of drugs due to increased population.
“If government will address this matter accordingly, many people will be dying for lack of access and shortage of drugs,” he said.
MESOM further threatened to take another step if government will ignore the petition.
The petition was addressed to the District Commissioner with copies to Ministry of Justice, Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Pharmacy and Medicine Regulatory Authority (PMRA) among others.
In his remarks after received a petition, District Commissioner for Lilongwe district Lawford Palani assured protesters that his office will present the petition to relevant authorities.
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