October 22, 2010
“Mongolians used to be poisoned with foods, but now we are poisoned with drugs” said the Health Minister S.Lambaa (Unuudur Newspaper. 2010.09.27. Page C3)
Citizens of Mongolia want to know only about why your drugstores are not stopping to sell counterfeit drugs and what you, Mr. Minister, are doing to stop this kind of crime as the highest competent one in charge of population health. You said “Drug control is carried by the State Professional Inspection Agency, but originally the Health Ministry must take control of drugs”. Can Mongolian Government and state-run agencies control themselves? State controlling agencies are all already in entrenchment.
In principal, we, the citizens, don’t care about where is your Government’s controlling and inspection body. The only thing we want and demand is You, as a cabinet member, put a control, no matter professional or devil’s, as soon as possible and stop exploiting your people by counterfeit drugs. If you cannot find out who is the importer of counterfeit drugs, punish such importers and stop this crime immediately, then it would not be useful even if you take control of drugs and set up that new agency as you said.
New seedlings can be planted only after weeds are pulled up by the roots. Even innocent young kids die on hospital beds because hospitals inject counterfeit injections. Wondering if You are in power to stop your subordinate who force patients to buy counterfeit drugs or not?
As Minister for Health, can you publicly announce how many companies are licensed to import medications in Mongolia, when did they get such licenses, on what grounds the licenses are suspended and how many of these licensed companies are linked to current and previous ministers, deputies and to those authorized to issue licenses? The citizens doubt that You can announce all these publicly.
Generally, such kind of information is always open for public in any democratic state. Besides, You are the Minister from the Democratic. If you can, publicize it and the citizens will judge your right and wrong very soon. Carry sudden inspection in drugstores to find out how much of all drugs are counterfeit products and publicly announce by each drugstore. Then expose how these counterfeit drugs came here. There won’t be any trouble to find out it because there is no doubt that the money from counterfeit business always goes to its counterfeit dealers. After that, find out who gave licenses. If it is difficult to know where they came from, talk with customs.
Ask why individuals bring foreign drugs in their hand luggage. Then reveal if they pay taxes or not. Also ask why drugstores do not use price tags on drugs they sell. Ask why drug price is fixed by a drug selling lady, who is able to easily define your purchasing power instantly due to your appearance and look, better than Statistics Office of Mongolia. Deal with all foreign and domestic hospitals and all drugstores, who make superb income from selling the drugs in retail like tobacco.
You, Mr. Minister, and your “colleagues” must have noticed the following while undergoing expensive medical treatment abroad. In a civilized country, it is recommended to refuse from the drug if its package is opened or damaged and, in case of using such drug, the people are warned that the manufacturer will not be responsible for the quality of its drug. Do the authorities care that everything is vice versa in Mоngolia?
If not, please tell us who must care of it. This is not all about medications. The same situation exists for all products, tools, apparatus related to health and everything associated with hospital is counterfeit. Are all these food supplements and herbals are real?
The most of natural supplements and herbals come from Russia. All television channels in this country are discussing that Russia leads in the world by its imports of such counterfeit products. Do we only bring original ones? The only official, who has the competence and authority to expose, publicize and deal with all these, is You.
It is your basic duty to do so. Your previous ministers have not done this and they have not been punished for not doing this. Because political parties in power never charge each other with responsibility. It is always like that “one feudal is replaced by another feudal”. Though you, the politicians, were excited to pass a national program so-called “Healthy Mongolian”, finally it appears that there is no healthy Mongolian. Don’t You and your ministry staff really know that there are a number of successful practices about how to stop counterfeit drugs and medical equipment? Ask the citizens if you cannot find out such best practices.
Minister Lambaa, you are the first person to become a health minister despite the fact you’re you are not a doctor. Minister is not required to be a doctor, it is enough to be a good manager.
Therefore, deal with the half of things written here if you have a desire and willingness to be a good manager. At least start it. Just set a standard.
Maybe the counterfeit drug businessmen altogether would unite their wealth and influence to change you somehow in order to defend their dirty business. But if you manage to do half of this at least, You will easily win next elections again.
Translated by P.Shinebayar