Health News of Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Mr. Thomas Amedzro, a marketing Surveillance Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says there is a potential risk to the health of Ghanaians if people continue to use fake drugs.
According to Mr. Amedzro, the menace of fake drugs on the Ghanaian market is frightening because the kind of medicines that are being faked are medicines used for serious disease interventions. “Nobody can actually put fingers on accurate statistics concerning the extent of risk; but we look at the seriousness in terms of the kind of medicines being faked.”
“If we look at it that way, it means that all of us our lives are at risk. So it does depend on the number of drugs that are fake but the potential risk it poses to our mutual collective health.”
Mr. Amedzro said the existence of these fake drugs implies that “our infections will not be treated well, there will be development of resistance of the organism we are attempting to treat, therefore we will have spent more on medication.”
“We are also looking at the economic impact because if we are faking the medicine than it means that the genuine manufactures will be thrown out of business because their market share will be seriously eroded, people will lose confidence in the genuine products.”
He said the FDA however have in place measures to check the importation of fake drugs. “We have a whole department of import and export control, we have offices are the harbour and airport, we also have post at all the major boarders in the country.”
“We want to also appeal to those who deal in medicines to make sure they don’t buy medicines from dubious sources; make sure the medicines are properly registered and given approval by the Food and Drug Authority.”
He finally advised the general public to refrain from buying drugs from pharmaceutical companies that have been found to have imported fake drugs.
Meanwhile the Former Health Minister, Joseph Yilleh Chireh has called for a stricter and stronger collaboration among countries of the West African sub-region in the fight against fake drugs.
“Ghana together with Nigeria and the drug regulatory bodies may cooperate and coordinate their activities;; this will help curb the menace of the circulation of fake drugs in the region.”
Reports were rife in the past week about some pharmaceutical companies importing fake drugs for wholesaling and retailing in the country.
Mr. Yilleh Chireh who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, told Citi News extending the fight outside the borders of Ghana is a sure way of dealing with the issue.