The United Nations-backed high-level anti-corruption body – Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) has said that at least 50 per cent of Afghanistan’s $700 to $800 million pharmaceutical import market consists of illegally imported products.
Eva Joly, an international member of the MEC said the importation process of medicines is highly vulnerable to corruption, from registration of foreign pharmaceutical companies, to the registration documents themselves, to laboratory-based quality control.
Another member of the Committee, Prof. Mohammad Yasin Osmani expressed concerns over the abundance of substandard pharmaceuticals in the Afghan market and said “The health of people of Afghanistan is under threat.”
Osmani further added “There is no mechanism currently in place to control the market.”
While presenting the report, the MEC members recommended controlling more effectively the quality and volume of pharmaceutical products entering Afghanistan through a range of reforms to the registration and licensing processes.
Similarly they urged for promoting technical surveillance and monitoring capacities to ensure that production and import companies are adequately vetted and that pharmaceuticals entering the country are subjected to rigorous quality controls.