Friecca Pharmacy has assured its customers that it was found fit and that the closure of its business which was effected by National Drug Authority (NDA) is temporary.
Two days ago, NDA which is the regulator of pharmacies and other facilities that sell medicine in Uganda ordered Friecca Pharmacy to shut down its operations due to operating without a license.
In its notice, NDA stated: “On April 19, 2018, in exercise of its statutory mandate, National Drug Authority directed Friecca Pharmacy to halt its operations to the public and close its premises”.
“Friecca Pharmacy located in Wandegeya, Kampala has been operating without a licence issued by the Authority, contrary to section 14 of the National Drug Policy and Authority Act 206 of the laws of Uganda. We wish to reassure the public that the pharmacy will open as soon as a 2018 license is obtained,” the statement added.
The closure of Friecca has attracted public fury with some Ugandans questioning whether NDA warned the pharmacy which is a first time offender or whether all the shops engaged in trade of fake drugs have been closed. Some imputed underhand business competition malice.
Now, the Management of Friecca Pharmacy has released a statement saying that the closure is only temporary.
“Management of Friecca pharmacy wishes to reassure all stakeholders that the entity fully complies with all legal and operational requirements of the highest standard,” the statement reads in part
While the pharmacy notes that upon the NDA inspection it was “found fit” and that “renewal of licence was recommended”, it does not state that it was subsequently issued the licence.
“Friecca Pharmacy was duly inspected by the National Drugs Authority (NDA) on December 12, 2017. It was found fit & renewal of license was recommended,” the Management said.
“The unfortunate closure is temporary”.
It remains unclear why the retailer which is one of the biggest in Kampala would operate without a license or why NDA would fail to renew its licence.
In recent months, NDA has vowed to crack down on drug shops and pharmacies found to be operating in contravention of the stipulated guidelines. The Authority also warned that it would no longer issue licenses to new pharmacies and drug shops in Kampala and other major towns, in order to allow them to move to other rural localities which are underserved.
But pharmacists have since petitioned this proposal and instead asked that NDA relocates foreigners to the so-called underserved areas since they access cheaper capital compared to Ugandan businesses.