Opposition claims of cheap drugs in the market

Opposition members Mikaele Leawere (left) and Inosi Kuridrani during the parliament budget debate break at parliament. Picture: RAMA

OPPOSITION MP Inosi Kuridrani claims there were cheap drugs in the market that did not provide treatment for the sick.

Speaking in Parliament last week, he said there needed to be more controls on the purchase of medicine.

“I bought a drug from Australia that costs about $AUD86, but when I came to buy a drug here in Namaka in Nadi, it costs about $FJD13, which comes from India,” he said.

“I wonder if there is any measure in place to ensure that quality drugs are on the market for our people.”

Responding to the question, Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said drugs that were purchased through the Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services went through a strict vetting process which included the Government Tenders Board.

“Through the Government Tenders Board, there is a technical working group which includes very senior doctors who utilise the medicines and now includes our pharmacists who are very well-trained in this and they also have to make sure that they meet certain requirements which they need FDA (Federal Drug from America) requirements,” he said.

“So, the drugs that we utilise through our government institutions come through that program and if there are some drugs that are being bought from the chemist outside through Fiji Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical Services (FPBS) so we can be assured that those are the drugs bought through us that have been vetted through that process.”

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