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General News of Saturday, 5 October 2013

Source: citifmonline.com

FDA must not use military tactics to fight fake drugs – IMANI-Ghana

Executive Director of IMANI -Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, has asked the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) not to use “military tactics in fighting the importation of fake drugs into the country but rather make use of technology."

“FDA may be doing us good by announcing fake drugs on the market, but regulating a very vital part of our livelihoods is not a military style practise. It is something that should be done with a certain sense of precision and understanding of whatever tool you have before you, and I think technology is one of those tools that can be employed in battling importation of fake drugs into the country,” he said.

A research conducted by IMANI-Ghana established that a huge proportion of malaria drugs that are imported into the country were fake or substandard.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) recently also banned the importation and distribution of all medicinal products manufactured by BLISS GVS Pharma Limited, an Indian company, to Ghana.

According to the FDA, the ban was as a result of the manufacture and distribution of medicinal products into the country is without adherence to the registration requirements as enshrined in the Public Health Act, a process which assures the quality, safety and efficacy of all medicinal products used in Ghana.

Speaking on Eye Witness News, Mr Cudjoe maintained that the problem of fake drugs being imported into the country could be curtailed if the FDA used technology appropriately.

He further remarked that the FDA did not really understand the concept of regulation, adding that the Authority should rather set the rules clearly.

“My problem is the fact that it appears to me that FDA has a little difficulty understanding that there is something called co -regulation. You can have regulatory power but it is not to wave it as if you are waving magic lights or flashing lights to a car that is speeding to stop, you have to set the rules clearly.”

He also stressed the need for the law to deal accordingly with people who were involved in the importation of fake drugs into the country.

“We can all agree that anybody who imports fake medicines should be dealt with. In countries like China you will be facing the firing squad in a situation like this because people’s lives are involved.”

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