BUJUMBURA February 21st (ABP) – The Director of the Department of Pharmacy, Medicine and Laboratories (DPML), Mr. Emmanuel Bamenyekanye, granted the ABP an interview on Tuesday February 20, 2018, during which he stated that people working in the drug sector have an important social responsibility in terms of public health.
Indeed, he explained, a drug of poor quality or misused is a poison that can lead to serious consequences on human health. As an illustration, the cases of physical malformations at birth can be caused by the consumption of inappropriate drugs. In that context, pharmacist Emmanuel Bamenyekanye advised all those who use drugs to go and see the Doctor who is the only authority for the prescription of the appropriate drug. Above all, avoid the bad habit of self-medication. Once the prescription is complete, the patient has to go for drugs to pharmacies that are legally established.
Pharmacist Emmanuel Bamenyekanye also recommends to all consumers of pharmaceutical products to read the instructions first and foremost, paying particular attention to the doses prescribed by the attending physician.
In order to promote and guarantee the health of people, the government establishes, every two years, a national list of essential drugs of Burundi. According to the Director of pharmacy, medicine and laboratories, Mr. Emmanuel Bamenyekanye, the supply of drugs in Burundi goes through two circuits.                                                                                                                                  This is the public and private circuit. The public circuit is powered by the Burundi Drug Purchase Center (CAMEBU). The supply of those medicines comes after an international invitation to tender to which the locals are also associated. CAMEBU only imports generics taking into account Burundi’s national list of essential medicines. Pharmacist Emmanuel Bamenyekanye said that the price of the drug at CAMEBU is regulated.
As for the private circuit, this one is realized by a network of private pharmacies which import generics as well as specialties. A peculiarity in relation to CAMEBU is the fact that private people set the price of the drug as they want. According to the DPML Director, this is an anomaly when we know that those private ones benefit from the exemption of customs duties.
In order to ensure the proper functioning of the pharmacy sector, a pharmaceutical bill is at the level of the National Assembly. That bill provides for the establishment of a Burundi Drug and Food Regulatory Authority (ABREMA). In that perspective, only approved drugs will be allowed to be sold in Burundi.
Pharmacovigilance will also be needed to fight against the adverse effects related to the consumption of those drugs.

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