Afghanistan: Increase in low-quality medicines irk Herat residents

Residents of Herat said that expired and low-quality medicines have increased in the market which has led to challenges for the people.

They said the medicines they buy from local pharmacies have no effect on patients.

Shahzad, a resident of Herat, said he suffers from kidney disease but after using medicines from Herat pharmacies, his condition has deteriorated.

“When I bought medicines and used them, they were low-quality and expired. And it created a stomach problem for me,” he said.

“I have bought expired medicines many times and meanwhile the prices are so high, but they have no impact on patients due to being of low quality,” said Mohammad Ali Zada, a Herat resident.

But the owner of a pharmacy in Herat said they assure the people that they will not sell low-quality and expired medicines.

“Pharmacies that have permits are importing high-quality medicines and they don’t buy it if its expiry date is under six months,” said Wazir Ahmad Nekzad, owner of a pharmacy in Herat.

“The only way to prevent the sale of low-quality and expired medicines is to monitor the import of medicines,” said Darwesh Salehi, a pediatrician at Herat Public Hospital.

Taliban officials from the public health directorate in Herat confirmed the matter and said efforts are underway to prevent the sale of low-quality medicine at markets.

“We often find expired and low-quality medicines in pharmacies but we have collected five tons of such medicines,” said Mohammad Asif Kabiri, Taliban’s spokesman for the public health directorate in Herat.

A similar issue was reported by residents of Farah, Ghor and Badghis provinces, all located near Herat.

“Many pharmacies sell expired medicines. The public health directorate and other relevant organizations should collect these medicines and burn them,” said Mohammad Amin, a resident of Badghis.

“Expired medicines exist in our pharmacies despite the fact that they are collected by the municipality and the public health directorate,” said Mohammad Salim, a resident of Farah.