Monday, February 26, 2024

PRESS RELEASE: NOTICE ON MEDICINES CONTROL AGENCY CLOSURE OF INNOVARX GLOBAL HEALTH

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URGENT PRESS RELEASE

The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) wishes to notify the general public of the closure of INNOVARX, effective 2nd February 2024, due to serious noncompliance with MCA legal provisions. On 1st February 2024, MCA conducted an inspection at INNOVARX, uncovering serious noncompliance issues. The Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ismail D. Badjie, was duly informed but refused to cooperate with the MCA inspectors. He obstructed the inspectors from carrying out their work, leading them to report the matter to Bakau Police Station. Two Police Officers were then assigned to accompany them back to INNOVARX.

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In the presence of the Police Officers, Dr. Ismail D. Badjie refused to allow MCA inspectors to confiscate medicines that were neither registered nor listed with MCA and had been illegally imported into The Gambia without MCA approval. Contrary to the claimed origin in the United States of America, most of these smuggled medicines were manufactured in India, China, and Taiwan, and none were tested before being dispensed to the general public, posing a potential danger. The MCA Inspectors also informed Dr. Ismail D. Badjie that they were going to close down his premises, and he was instructed to report to the MCA Office, which he refused to comply with. The Police Officers were later recalled by their Station Officer, and MCA withdrew its inspectors due to security reasons.

Throughout the presence of the MCA inspectors at INNOVARX, they were constantly harassed and obstructed by Dr. Ismail D. Badjie, who took photos and videos of them without their consent. He also threatened to upload/post them on various social media platforms. Dr. Ismail D. Badjie indeed carried out his threat by posting the photos/videos of our inspectors on various social media platforms, making false allegations against MCA. The Management of MCA would like to make it clear to Dr. Ismail D. Badjie and his surrogates that MCA cannot be intimidated by their social media ramblings.

The MCA Inspectors, along with three Police Officers, including the Station Officer from Bakau Police Station, returned to INNOVARX the following day, 2nd February, to advise Dr. Ismail D. Badjie to comply with MCA in order to avoid the matter being escalated. Dr. Badjie had no choice but to allow MCA to proceed, resulting in the closure of INNOVARX and the seizure of all illegally imported medicines deemed by the law to be substandard and falsified for the interest of public safety. Numerous expired medicines were also found on the shelves within the dispensary where patients are served at INNOVARX.

Dr. Ismail D. Badjie has also been consistently violating the law by illegally advertising his medicines without approval from MCA, despite previous warnings from MCA.

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MCA advises the general public to refrain from seeking medical and pharmaceutical services from INNOVARX until further notice. MCA will continue to do its best to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of all medicines and related products in the Gambian market.

Essa Marenah
Ag. Executive Director
Medicines Control Agency

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