Continuing its effort to work with the Cambodian Government to stop illegal medicine entering the country and being sold to the public, SMCS Risk in cooperation with partners from the Ministry of Health recently conducted an operation in Tbong Khmom Province which resulted in the seizure of 37,975 dosage units of illegal medicine.
Of the seized medicine, 23,637 dosage units had already expired with some medicine being over 18 months past the expiry date. 14,338 dosage units of medicine was illegally diverted, meaning it had entered the country without approval.
“I applaud the Government for continuing to work with us to seize illegal medicine in Cambodia and this is another fantastic seizure that has disrupted the illegal medicine trade.” said Steve Morrish, CEO of SMCS Risk.
Although the Cambodian Government is aware of the issues of illegal medicine in Cambodia and is working hard to stop the trade; counterfeit, illegally diverted and expired medicine continues to enter the Cambodian market place, with illegal medicine traders taking advantage of porous border crossings, sporadic monitoring & enforcement and a reluctance to prosecute offenders.
“Cambodia needs to enforce its laws more strictly; until we tighten up imports, stop unqualified people from selling medicine and start prosecuting offenders including pharmacists who sell illegal medicine or allow unqualified people to sell medicine on their behalf, then we will continue have a problem that greatly affects patient safety in Cambodia” said Steve Morrish.
SMCS Risk advises members of the public to be more vigilant when buying medicine and follow these basic rules. 1) Don’t purchase medicine that is provided as individual tablets, or as a mixed bag of tablets or comes in packaging that has a broken seal, 2) always check the expiry date on medicine packaging before buying it and 3) ask the person selling you medicine to show you their qualifications or business registration.