Government is set to table the new National Food and Drug Authority Bill that will expand the mandate of National Drug Authority (NDA) to include regulation of food, medical devices and cosmetics.
Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng made the revelation at the NDA 25year celebration dinner at Hotel Africana yesterday.
Currently, NDA regulates only human and animal drugs, and in the effort to solve the gaps in the existing law, Aceng said, the new bill has been developed.
She added that the Bill is before cabinet and will be presented for consideration and taken to parliament for debate.
“The Bill proposes to expand the mandate of NDA to include regulation of food, medical devices and cosmetics and transform NDA into a food and drug authority,” she said
Aceng also described people who have been fighting against the new bill as being anti-development.
“Uganda will not be left behind because of a few people who are selfish and do not want to develop,” she added
Furthermore, the minister said that NDA and all investors in Uganda will be encouraged to invest in domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing especially for medicines for human and animal diseases.
On the concern of stealing government drugs, Aceng tasked NDA to move the entire country and have these thieves arrested.
“It’s government obligation to make sure that all Ugandans and their animals live a healthy and productive life and have access to quality health care. I want to appreciate the efforts of NDA in curbing theft of drugs as well as fake counterfeit drugs. I want them to move the entire country and have these thieves arrested so they can face the law”
She added that Government provides adequate medicines but there are a few thieves who sell the medicines, make money out of it and leave people to die.
NDA chairman Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo said the authority is in the process of constructing a state of art laboratory that will help in stopping the manufacturing of fake drugs and also test and put a stop to the importation of counterfeits.
He further said that the authority will facilitate all its staff that would love to go for further studies
Bitekyerezo also called on general public to assist on reporting of individuals that steal government drugs.
“We are going to make stealing of Government drugs a very risky venture,” he added.