More than €2 million worth of medicines, including pain relievers and anti-infection drugs, will be shipped to Libya and distributed in hospitals that are packed with war casualties.

The 600,000 packs of medicines were donated by pharmaceutical company Actavis and will be taken to Tripoli by a World Food Programme ship that is expected to arrive in Malta tomorrow.

Daniel Vella Friggieri, from Actavis, said the company had contacted the Libyan Health Ministry to determine what types of medicines were mostly needed. The Maltese branch then sent out a request to all its European offices that shipped several consignments to Malta.

Mr Vella Friggieri was speaking at the Civil Protection Department’s humanitarian aid stores in Marsa where the medicines are being prepared for shipment.

He said the company managed to fill 170 pallets with 22 different types of medicines, including drugs to treat heart and gastrointestinal conditions as well as pain relievers and anti-infection medicines that could be administered intravenously.

Mr Vella Friggieri said 20 per cent of the products being sent were manufactured in Malta. Expiry dates ranged from 2013 to 2015.

He said Actavis had a team based in Libya and felt duty-bound to play a part during this crisis.

CPD director Patrick Murgo said the department had contacted the World Food Programme which, weather permitting, would be sending a ship to Malta to pick up the consignment. The cargo would be taken to the port of Tripoli from where members of the National Transitional Council would distribute it to hospitals.

Mohamed Sayeh, a senior member of the council, thanked Malta for the support it had extended throughout the Libyan ordeal.

Health Minister Joseph Cassar said the island was always happy to help in such moments. It had done so by helping in the evacuations from Libya and was now taking in injured people to be treated here.

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