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Expired ARVs seized in Mafeteng


’Marafaele Mohloboli

Seven Mafeteng private clinics were found dispensing expired antibiotics and antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) during a joint police and health ministry raid conducted on Friday.

According to a member of the raiding party, Health Inspector Themba Fobo, some of the drugs expired as far back as 2008, while others did not even have expiry dates or labels.

Mr Fobo yesterday told the Sunday Express the medication was confiscated and taken to Mafeteng Hospital for safekeeping. Investigations into the matter continue this week and no one has been arrested in connection with the drugs, police spokesperson Clifford Molefe added.

“Some of the drugs did not even have batch numbers and expiry dates and it is suspected they could have been smuggled into the country,” Mr Fobo said.

Quantifying the medication would need more time, Mr Fobo added.

“The only thing I can tell you is that recording the medication and seeing the extent of the rot is going to take us a few days because of the huge quantity involved, so we will be returning to Mafeteng on Monday to continue with the exercise. We seized the stock and stored it at Mafeteng Hospital for safekeeping. That’s where we are going to have a proper count of the expired stock and then compile a report of our discovery.”

On his part, Senior Inspector Molefe said the police were called in since the ministry did not have the powers to investigate suspected criminal activities or make arrests.

“We have had a very successful operation during which stacks of expired medication were confiscated in Mafeteng. This follows a case where similar medical supplies were dumped on the street in TY and others were reported stolen from TY hospital. Investigations into both the Mafeteng and TY incidents are still underway,” Senior Inspector Molefe said.

“Wherever there is suspicion of criminal activity, we have a role to play and no one has been arrested yet, as investigations are in progress.”

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