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Morocco Health Ministry’s Pharmacy Director Loses Job for ‘Corruption’

Jamal Taoufik allegedly cost the Moroccan government tens of millions of dirhams in wasted medicines.

Rabat – Following multiple problems in the management of the drugs and pharmacy department (DMP) in the Moroccan Ministry of Health, the director of the department, Jamal Taoufik, has lost his position.

The Arabic newspaper Assabah reported on Taoufik’s exit from the health ministry in its weekend issue. Taoufik allegedly presided over multiple dysfunctions in the drugs and pharmacy department. 

According to a parliamentary report, Taoufik flouted the law when his department procured drugs from companies that did not have any production units within Morocco. The special deals gave the companies access to a lucrative market of MAD 15 billion ($1.6 billion). 

Previously, locally-produced medicines supplied 80% of the country’s demand. The report found that in just a short time, the coverage dropped to just 55%.

Under his leadership, the department also lost tens of millions of dirhams worth of medicines that had expired and needed to be disposed of.

At the same time, pharmacies ran out of stock of other medications, frustrating consumers.

Other criticisms of Taoufik ranged from the pricing of drugs to lack of oversight into the importation of medical devices.

The first hint of Taoufik’s departure was his lack of appearance at Parliament when other health ministry directors presented the health ministry’s budget proposal.

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The departure is Taoufik’s second sacking. In 2001, he lost his job at the health ministry due to a conflict of interest. Taoufik’s wife, who owned shares in several pharmaceutical companies, benefited financially when the DMP awarded those companies contracts.

However, when health minister Anas Doukkali suggested that the government give Jamal Taoufik the position of director of the DMP, the head of government agreed to reinstate him, according to Assabah.