Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo
‘Fight Expired Products At Producers’ Level” - Lo
By Prince S. Nagbe
MONROVIA, April 11 (LINA) – The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo, has said the proliferation of counterfeit and expired products in the sub-region is a global phenomenon that has to be attacked from the level of the producers.
“The increase of expired and counterfeit products, especially medical drugs in our markets, calls for a serious follow-up, not only in the markets where they are easily sold at lower prices, but also at the level of the producers who are not in our region,” Lo emphasized.
Speaking at the opening of a five-day Delocalized Meeting of the Joint Committee on Health and Social Services and Trade, Customs and Free Movement of the ECOWAS Parliament in Monrovia on Monday, Lo said this can be achieved by establishing adequate financial and legal arsenal to sanction those involved in the manufacturing, importation and sale of these products.
According to him, several millions of dollars are being engulfed in the market for these counterfeit products around the world as thousands of citizens in the region are being affected as a result of consuming them.
“The issue of counterfeit expired medical drugs and other products remains a serious concern to us at the level of the Parliament, and for this reason we in collaboration with the West African Health Organization (WAHO) have included it in our Program of Activities under the Fourth Legislature to discuss the fight for its total eradication from our region,” Lo disclosed.
He indicated that the five-day meeting is intended to allow members of the Parliament listen to experts provide presentations on the issue to enable them have an understanding of the extent of the economic and social damage occasioned by the flow and consumption of these illegal products in the region.
The ECOWAS Parliament Speaker added that the presentations will help the body determine its role in monitoring the implementation of the policy of WAHO in the fight against counterfeit and expired medical and other products in the Community.
He lauded President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for approving the convening of the meeting, which is the first in the Fourth Legislature of the Community Parliament in Liberia.
The five-day meeting is being held under the theme “ECOWAS Policy on the Fight Against Counterfeit Medical Products and Expired Products: Contribution of the Parliament in the Implementation and Monitoring of this Policy”.