Illegal sales of drugs put public at risk

Communities in the Rabaul District have been urged not to take illegal medical drugs from street vendors or any unauthorised person.

This was stressed during an awareness on the illegal sales of drugs and its effects conducted last week which was initiated by the East New Britain Provincial Authority and carried out in the four local level governments of Rabaul district.

Speaking during the awareness at Tavui No.1 of Balanataman LLG was district health coordinator, Garry Mano who highlighted some of the effects of taking medicine sold by street vendors or from unauthorised distributors.

He said that when people buy from street vendors, they are putting their life at risk and others who will be taking the medicine.

“These people are unregistered or do not have a license to be selling drugs. Some of the medicine could be expired or fake and even not stored in the right temperature so stop buying from them,” Mano said.

He further said that antibiotics is not the correct choice for all infections, adding that currently street sales for amoxicillin is K2 per packet of 4 capsules which is not the right dosage for amoxicillin.

“The right dose for amoxicillin is 15 capsules, when you buy less than that, you are being under-dosed. The more you misuse and overuse antibiotics, the more the risk you have at developing drug resistant bacteria,” Mano said.

 He added that people must only get their medication prescribed by qualified health workers and not just anyone trying to make some quick cash by selling illegal drugs.

Meantime, Rabaul district administrator, Benedict Mode said the illegal sales of medical drugs has been an on-going issue and added that there might be workers in the Area Medical Stores (AMS) that are accessing and distributing to vendors.

“The AMS supplied drugs are procured only by the Government of PNG through the Medical Supplies Branch. Each drugs have specific batch numbers and brand names,” Mode said.

He said, interrogating vendors might lead to someone from the Health Authorities.

He added that a person caught illegally selling drugs can be charged under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and serve up to 12 months imprisonment or pay a fine of K5000.

The awareness continues this week covering rural communities and other target groups.

Loop author