KAMPALA - Pharmacies have petitioned court to quash National Drug Authority's (NDA) decision to decline to issue operating licenses to pharmacies that operate both retail and wholesale in the same premises.
On July 19, nine pharmacies filed an application for judicial review at the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, claiming the decision is illegal, in bad faith and biased.
They lament that they were never consulted, yet they are stakeholders, who must always be heard before policy directives and laws, are implemented.
"The applicants aver that the respondents actions are not backed by any law and that there is no law the applicants have contravened to warrant cancellation of their licenses which are only renewed annually," the application states.
Through Alaka and Company Advocates, they assert that it is filed in representative capacity for the 265 pharmacies that operate such a dual business. NDA is listed as the respondent.
On June 20, the court deputy registrar Alex Ajiji granted the nine pharmacies permission to file the petition in representative capacity.
The decision by NDA is contained in circular number 002/ID/2016, dated April 21, 2016.It is effective January 1, next year. It was taken by the entity's Executive Director Donna Kusemererwa.
The nine applicants are Pine Pharmacy, Pillar Logistics Limited, Escorts Pharmaceuticals Limited, Byansi Medicare Limited, and Spring Pharmaceuticals Limited.
Others are Pharma Health Limited, Good Day Pharmacy Limited, Safe Way Pharmacy 2003 Limited, and Mednet Health Care Limited.
The application is supported by the affidavit of the managing director of Pine Pharmacy David Ekau. He asserts that his lawyers explained to him the extensive legal consequences of the circular.
"I have been advised that the decision has the effect of cancellation of the applicants pre-existing licences irrationally without the backing of the law," Ekau states.
NDA is yet to respond.