26 Mar 2018

Bougainville warns illegal prescription drug sellers

12:25 pm on 26 March 2018

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville is trying to clamp down on a resurgence in businesses illegally selling prescription drugs.

Variety of medicine bottles behind pills spilling from fallen bottle.

Photo: feverpitched/123RF

PNG has been experiencing a prescription drug shortage for the past year but the Bougainville Health Secretary Clement Totavun said there had been a surge in Chinese-owned businesses illegally selling drugs, such as anti-biotics.

He said on Bougainville there was just one authorised pharmacy that could sell prescription drugs and the government has had to clamp down in the past on illegal sellers, but in recent months there had been a resurgence in the trade.

Mr Totavun also said the government thought some of the drugs being sold may be fake.

Bougainville Health Secretary Clement Totavun said the drugs were entering the province through Port Moresby and the government has no control over this.