BEIRUT: Future MP Atef Majdalani Wednesday called on the Health Ministry to freeze the licenses of companies that have imported medicine illegally.
“As the health minister has the exclusive authority to freeze or revoke the licenses of companies that import drugs, I demand as a preliminary precautionary measure that [he] freeze the licenses of the companies involved in the crime until the judiciary issues its rulings,” said Majdalani.
In early November, Majdalani brought to light cases of illegally imported medicine, and alleged that over 100 different medicines had been illegally brought into the country with forged stamps and signatures from the Health Ministry and fraudulent lab tests purporting to be from the Beirut Arab University.
Majdalani also urged the ministry to declare a list of the illegally imported drugs and launch an inspection campaign to make sure all these medicines were withdrawn from the market.
“The ministry should declare a list of suspicious medicines that were imported into the country since 2009, so that citizens can identify them,” the lawmaker said.
In December, charges were brought against seven people, including the brother of a Cabinet minister, over the scandal. The charges included forging official documents and laboratory reports as well as putting public health at risk by allowing unlicensed drugs into the country and distributing them.
Following news of the scandal, Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said that all the warehouses involved in the affair had been shut down and the drugs confiscated.