Malawi | Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority
PMRA statement on rising cases of theft of medicines in public health facilities

Lilongwe, Wednesday, 5th January, 2022: Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA) under Section 4 of the PMRA Act No. 9 of 2019 is mandated to, among other functions, regulate pharmacy practice premises, Pharmacy personnel and their training in Malawi.   

The Authority has been following developments in the media and notes with concern the rise in theft and pilferage of medicines in public health facilities, allegedly involving pharmacy personnel which the Authority regulates. These malpractices are happening at a critical time when public health facilities are grappling with shortages and stockouts of medicines and medical supplies. PMRA joins the Pharmaceutical Society of Malawi (PHASOM) and all Malawians of goodwill in condemning the vice in its strongest terms and echoes calls for speedy prosecution of the suspected culprits.

PMRA wishes to inform the general public that, pursuant to Section 28 of PMRA Act, the Authority has in place internal mechanisms for effecting disciplinary action against all licensed pharmacy personnel and those operating licensed pharmacy businesses when deemed to be in gross violation of the Act and if found guilty, are punished according to the PMRA Act. This includes suspension from practice and removal of their names from the appropriate register. It is important for the public to note that these disciplinary processes are ongoing at PMRA and that the Authority has on a number of occasions imposed such punishments to the offenders.  

In continuing with its effort to stop the malpractices, PMRA will from this year start publishing names of all Pharmacy personnel and all licensed business premises against whom disciplinary action has been taken for violating dictates of the Pharmacy profession and practice.

In the same vein, PMRA is reminding potential employers to always check with the Authority the status of any pharmacy personnel before hiring them. Further to this, employers are requested to report to the Authority any pharmacy personnel suspected to be involved in theft or pilferage of medicines and medical supplies whether at a public or private facility in order for the Authority to take appropriate disciplinary action. Such disclosures shall be treated as confidential.

The general public is being warned that stealing medicines or medical supplies from a public health facility is an offence under the PMRA Act which upon conviction attracts a fine of K20 million and imprisonment for 20 years.

Theft of medicines in public health facilities deprives innocent Malawians of access to quality health services. It is for this reason that PMRA calls for concerted efforts in ending the vice.

For further information and/or disclosures, please contact PMRA via email at


PMRA is a statutory organization established by Act of Parliament to regulate medicines, allied substances and the practice of pharmacy in Malawi.

Charles Chimenya