The council board members together led by their secretary Samuel Opio said that government and parliament should consider reviewing of the penal code to classify the theft of medicines as murder by denial and attract a maximum of life sentence.
KAMPALA - Pharmacists under their umbrella organization, Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU), have requested government and parliament to consider theft of medicine equivalent to murder.
The council board members together led by their secretary Samuel Opio said that government and parliament should consider reviewing the penal code to classify the theft of medicines as murder by denial and attract a maximum of life sentence.
Addressing journalists at their offices in Kyambogo last Friday, Opio said the Health Monitor Unit, of the Ministry of Health (MOH) should keep investigating all medical professionals. Adding that many people masquerade as doctors, nurses or midwives
“Theft of drugs is a denial of people a right to life which leads to loss of lives since they cannot access medicine,” Opio exclaimed
He added that all persons who handle medicines should not be regarded as pharmacists, because not all are qualified pharmacists some are storekeepers while others are procurement officers.
PSU requested the government to review the handling of medicines, advising that it should be handled only by pharmacists.
The pharmacists on Friday were responding to claims that the three persons mentioned in the undercover investigative documentary-” Stealing from the sick” which aired on BBC and local TV station NBS were not pharmacists.
They said that by exposing the theft of government medicines in Uganda, contributes to strengthened measures to mitigate unethical and abominable practice.
The president of PSU Patrick Owang noticed that there were no pharmacists at district levels. He cautioned the government to have a pharmacist at each district hospital facility to be held accountable for any mishap.
He also revealed that there is a process at the MOH to recruit pharmacist adding that the government should make it clear that handling of medicine should be by pharmacists only.
Dr. Bosco Okello one of the board members explained that storage of medicine in the country is done by the ministry of finance which makes it even difficult for the hospitals to monitor directly.
PSU strongly condemned the act of stealing from government facilities saying that this undermines the medical profession.
PSU also denied having any knowledge about the three persons who appeared in the documentary saying they are neither pharmacists nor students of pharmacy.