Hospital pharmacy body denies allegations of misappropriation of government drugs


Hospital Pharmacy Association of Zambia (HOPAZ) has expressed sadness over the allegations leveled against its members on misappropriation of government drugs.

The Association through its president, Lucky Munsaka, was reacting to claims made by Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo, that pharmacists from public hospitals were colluding with retail pharmacists to pilfer medication from government.

Munsaka said such accusations had a potential to erode public trust in pharmacists who dedicate their lives daily to serving people in various hospitals.

Read more: Own up to drug shortages, stop scandalizing health personnel, PF tells Health Minister, Masebo

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday, Munsaka said following the accusations, the Association subsequently conducted an investigation, uncovering that a patient had indeed been advised by the in-patient department.

“We wish to guide that medication ordering procedure at any hospital is done in such a way that injectable medications such as Ceftriaxone are ordered for In-Patients by In-Patient staff and not dispensed directly to patients from the pharmacy dispensary by pharmacy professionals,” he stated.

He further stated that subsequent investigations revealed that the In-Patient Department was unaware that the pharmacy had the medication in stock.

During a survey of local health facilities on December 17, 2023, Masebo encountered a patient who stated that pharmacy personnel advised them to purchase Ceftriaxone from a retail pharmacy due to its reported unavailability at Kanyama First Level Hospital.

In response, the Minister promptly ordered the dismissal of the implicated pharmacists, accusing them of collaborating with retail pharmacies to misappropriate government drugs.

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