By Tabora Bojang
Health Minister Ahmad Lamin Samateh has said that government is reviewing a national assembly recommendation to pursue legal action against an Indian company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, for exporting contaminated drugs into the Gambia that killed at least 70 children.
Speaking at the national assembly yesterday, Samateh disclosed that the ministry of justice is already looking at the reports and is in touch with a world renowned law firm and will advise government on the way forward.
He however noted that government has already started to adhering to the parliamentary recommendations, because already, Maiden pharmaceutical is ‘permanently banned’ in the country and government has also agreed to withhold the recommendation to suspend the license of Atlantic Pharmacy, the main importers of the contaminated syrups pending advice from the ministry of justice.
According to Minister Samateh, the surviving affected children are currently being followed up and are receiving ‘free medical care.’
“Government is reviewing the reports and waiting for the pending reports of the inquiry and once these reports are all reviewed the issue of compensation will be addressed,” he said
Also, addressing suggestions for the government to ensure that all medicine products are subjected to screening before distribution, the minister argued that such measures pose a big challenge for most countries in the world including the Gambia because of the huge costs, material and human resource requirements for regulatory agencies.
“With the establishment of our own food and drug quality control laboratory we will endeavour to screen all products,” he added.