Medical professionals have been requested to remind their patients to only buy or receive medication from registered medical professionals, accredited pharmacies or medical facilities, and to only receive vaccines administered at registered vaccination sites.

“Stolen vaccines will not have been stored under the correct conditions, and could be dangerous, and medications that are not properly dispensed, as you well know, could cause serious harm,” it has been noted in a joint statement issued by Business for South Africa (B4SA), the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA), the Unity Forum for Family Practitioners (UFFP), and the South African Private Practitioners Forum (SAPPF).

“If you become aware of any controlled substances, medicines or vaccines for sale outside of authorised healthcare institutions or vaccine sites,” the group stresses, “please urgently notify the authorities at SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) on or call your local police station.

“We have also asked community members to deposit any looted or stolen medication or vaccine to any pharmacy, GP or health care facility, so that it can be disposed of properly.

“As B4SA, ICPA, UFFP and SAPPF, in partnership with the National Department of Health, we are working hard to bring pharmacies, and health care facilities in affected areas back online. This is a priority, not only to ensure people have access to life-saving medication, but also to ensure that we are able to continue to ramp up the vaccination of our nation.”

SOURCE: BFSA Communique