The National Drug Authority (NDA) has said it will not renew the licences of private pharmacies operating in government hospitals countrywide following a presidential directive.
The President in a September 30 directive ordered the closure of private pharmacies in government hospitals, arguing that those pharmacies are owned by health workers who, instead of prescribing the use of government medicines, recommend the sale of their own drugs.
Mr. James William Tamale, the Head of Regions at NDA said they will allow the pharmacies to operate until the end of the year when their contracts will expire and not be renewed.
“The ones in Mulago and Hoima Hospitals had been licensed and there would be legal repercussions but their contracts won’t be renewed,” he said on Tuesday.
NDA also ordered Eco Pharmacy, which has been operating in Kiruddu hospital, and Good Life Pharmacy, which has been operating in Kawempe hospital, to close. Kiruddu and Kawempe hospitals are Mulago’s satellite hospitals, which were opened when the mother facility was closed for repair.
Mr Tamale said the two pharmacies had not been licenced to operate in the two hospitals.
When contacted, Mr Nathan Muinda the general manager Eco Pharmacy said Mulago hospital has given them a grace period up to end of the year when their license expires.
“We have been given up to end of this year to operate. NDA gives us an annual license and they are not renewing the licence for next year,” he said.