Making Recoveries Impossible

25 11 2012

Taher Hawrami, former Health Minister, estimates that expired and counterfeit pharmaceuticals entering the Kurdistan region over Iraq over the past few years accounts for 18% of all meds in Kurdistan. Deputy Chairman of the Health and Environment Committee of the Parliament of Kurdistan Hawraz Sheikh Ahmed says that counterfeit pharmaceuticals “is spread throughout Kurdistan. It enters into the province through all ports, and traders maintain a monopoly and no one can stop them, because — in short — they are backed by influential politicians in the region.” His reasoning for that statement stems from that fact that last March there were counterfeits coming from a “unlicensed” factory and officials in the Ministry of Health were actually looked into, but only a reprimand was given.

There are many drugs being tested and waiting to get in the region. Many are found fake. There are only 14 pharmacists, with limited ability, testing the drugs. There are only 320 pharmacies and 57 medical storehouses with official permits, compared to more than 4,000 unlicensed pharmacies, storehouses and clinics, which discharge a bulk of imported drugs. Basically, this means that the number of licensed pharmacies and storehouses do not exceed 9% of the number of total pharmacies that fill the cities of the Kurdistan region. More importantly, there are 91% of pharmacies that are not receiving the lists of expired and counterfeit drugs issued by the Ministry of Health.

There are many problems with the pharmaceutical industry in Kurdistan. People can get their drugs from over the border. Some people cannot wait for all the tests to be performed in order to receive their drugs. And the law only gives a person who violates Article 50 (endangering someone’s life through drugs) up to three years in prison. However, the presence of 4,000 unlicensed pharmacies in the Kurdistan region makes it impossible to follow up on details regarding the sale of drugs, or to catch offenders.

People in the Kurdistan region are having a hard time to recover from their ailments. Bekhal, a young Kurdish woman, has realized that she may not have the ability to see the spring of next year. Leukemia has been hurting her body ever since she received fake medication in a hospital. She is 25-years-old and won’t live much longer because the drugs she received in a government hospital were fake. Her father is realizing that he cannot fight the corrupt monsters (power and money protected drug dealers) who did this to his daughter. So he is selling their home and traveling with his daughter to try and find a cure.

Another girl, Nowruz Salih, was having swelling in her trachea and was injected with a counterfeit syringe, which has now made her suffer from large distortions on her face and throat since fall of last. There are many more heartbreaking stories happening all around the globe due to weak laws, not even law enforcers, and corrupt individuals. It truly is very sad. Counterfeits are making recoveries impossible for these people in the Kurdistan.

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