The Senior Regulatory Officer at the Drug Evaluation and Registration Department of the Sierra Leone Pharmacy Board, Dr. Sheku Mansaray condemned drug peddlers tagging the trade to be illegal.

Dr. Mansaray, in an interview with Politico Newspaper, said drug peddling is illegal because peddlers are licensed by the Board.

The Senior Regulatory Officer said some drug peddlers also sell illegal drugs or special prescription medications like tramadol. He added that their office through the Enforcement and Narcotic Control has been conducting raids on suspected peddlers in the capital and other parts of the country.

Dr. Mansaray stated that arrested peddlers are normally handed over to police for further investigation.

He suggested that one of the possible ways to curb this menace is for authorities to review the 2001 Pharmacy and Drug Act. Currently the Act only impose an almost meagre fine on defaulters. Dr. Mansaray said most times these peddlers take advantage of the low fine and often go into peddling again once they have paid their fines.

Drug peddlers are sometimes spotted in the Central Business District (CBD) of the capital, Freetown. Some also ply their trade on buses traveling in and around the city. The peddlers most times sell prescription and non-prescription drugs. Some of them even mention pharmacy names in the capital.

Dr. Mansaray said the Board usually conduct audits at pharmacies in order to control the selling of โ€œClass Aโ€ drugs by unqualified individuals.

He said the Board punishes pharmacies found wanting of breaching regulations.