10 Oct 2014

Medicines seized in American Samoa

4:36 pm on 10 October 2014

The Department of Health in American Samoa has confiscated a large quantity of medication, mostly antibiotics, at the airport, port and post office.

The department's Chief Compliance Officer, Papalii Marion Fitisemanu, says the medication seized requires a doctor's prescription, but it appears they were imported to be sold over the counter.

Papalii says some of the drugs seized through the mail look to be from relatives sending their personal prescriptions to family members on island.

The health department is looking into whether some of the drugs are being sold to locals, who then on-sell them, and says it also appears the drugs are intended for the Oriental fishing fleet.

Papalii says most of the medication seized was imported by Asians, purportedly for personal use, but appears to be in quantities beyond that of personal consumption.

Under local health laws only doctors authorized by the Health Services Regulatory Board can prescribe medication.