The country’s pharmaceutical regulatory body, MCA, has accused Dr. Ismail Badjie, founder and CEO of Innovarx Global Health, and his organization of serious noncompliance with medicine control agency legal provisions.
Explaining the reasons for Friday’s raid at Innovarx Global Health Kanifing office, the MCA said: ” Medicines Control Agency (MCA) wish to notify the general public of the closure of INNOVARX effective the 2 February 2024 due to serious noncompliance with the MCA legal provisions. The MCA was at INNOVARX on 1 February 2024 for inspection, and serious noncompliance issues were uncovered. The Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ismail D. Badgie, was informed accordingly but refused to cooperate with the MCA Inspectors.”
They further accused the company of obstructing its team of inspectors from fulfilling their oversight mandate.
“The Inspectors were obstructed from carrying out their work by him, and they had to report the matter to Bakau Police Station and were given two Police Officers to accompany them to Innovarx.
In the presence of the Police Officers, Dr. Ismail D. Badgie refused for MCA Inspectors to confiscate his medicines, which are neither registered nor listed with MCA and were illegally imported into the Gambia without MCA approval. Most of these smuggled medicines were not manufactured in the United States of America as claimed but in India, China, and Taiwan, and they were not tested prior to dispensing to the general public, which poses a potential danger.
In a media statement issued on Saturday evening, MCA added: ”
The MCA Inspectors also informed Dr. Ismail D. Badgie that they were going to close down his premises and he should report to the MCA Office, which he refused to comply with. The Police Officers were later recalled by their Station Officer, and MCA also 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. Badgie by taking photos and videos of them without their consent and treating them that he was going to upload/post them on various social media platforms.
Dr Ismail D. Badgie indeed went ahead with his threat by posting the photos/videos of our inspectors on various social media platforms and making false allegations against MCA. The Management of MCA would like to make it clear to Dr Ismail D. Badgie and his surrogates that MCA can never be intimidated by their social media ramblings.”
The statement signed by MCA acting Executive Director Essa Marenah said The MCA Inspectors and three Police Officers, including the Station Officer from Bakau Police Station, went to INNOVARX the following day, 2 February 2024, to advise Dr Ismail D. Badgie to comply with MCA to avoid the matter being escalated.
“Then Dr Badgie had no choice but to allow MCA to proceed, and MCA closed INNOVARX and seized all the illegally imported medicines that are deemed by the law to be substandard and falsified for the interest of public health safety. So many expired medicines were also found on the shelves within the dispensary where the patients are served at INNOVARX. Dr. Ismail D. Badgie also has been constantly violating the law by illegally advertising his medicines without approval from MCA despite previous warnings from MCA.”