Pharmacists, NDA boss resolve to bury hatchet

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After trading mutually accusatory statements between National Drug Authority board, Chairman Medard Bitekyerezo and Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU), they later called a closed door meeting last week and resolved to bury the hatchet.
In a news release issued by Ms.

Beatrice Ngabirano on behalf of PSU, the resolution followed a March 22 meeting between NDA and the Council of Pharmaceutical Society in Uganda.

“PSU and NDA resolved to work together to improve pharmaceutical services in pharmacies and other health units handling medicines in Uganda, both public and private,” read the statement in part.

In a telephone interview, Mr Bitekyerezo said he had no problem with PSU, and that the wedge between him and NDA was driven by accusations he called baseless.

“…there was no big problem. They said their issue was over the impending closure of over 300 pharmacies that are unregistered yet my issue was to protect the population from badly packaged, unsafe drugs,” he said, adding that they resolved to work together.

Last week, Daily Monitor reported accusations made by PSU against Mr Bitekyerezo, of running an “illegal pharmacy in Mbarara Town.”

In a March 17 news statement, the secretary council of PSU, Mr Samuel Opio, said the alleged facility “is currently operating illegally and running an illegal and substandard pharmacy supplying prescription only medicines contrary to the provisions of the NDA act.”
Mr Bitekyerezo denied the allegations.

PSU representative
On the issue of a grid-lock over the appointment of PSU’s representative to the NDA board, Mr Bitekyerezo said the issue should be handled by the health minister who appoints the board.

“If the ministry did not appoint someone from PSU, how can I give him remuneration? The board members have to get their terms of reference from the minister of health,” he said.

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