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General News of Tuesday, 15 May 2018


Abuse of Tramadol has reached national crisis level; we need solutions - Minister

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has noted that the menace of pharmaceutical crime has become a global phenomenon which is a threat to public health.

The minister says the trend posses a significant threat to security and economies of countries.

‘’It is a multi-billion illegal business which is sustained largely by the lure of high financial gains combined with the perceived low risk of detention and prosecution.’’

An estimated one in every ten medical products according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is substandard or falsified in middle and low income countries.

Touching on the abuse of tramadol and codeine, the minister said, the situation ‘’has become a national threat which requires a consented effort by all stakeholders to curb it. The effects of drug abuse on the individual, society and nation at large includes but not limited to the following: loss of revenue…in the form of tax to cater for drug addicts at the psychiatric hospitals, prisons and rehab centres; loss of productivity, injuries and brutalities due to road accidents…’’

‘’To address these threats effectively, will require multi-sectoral cooperation amongst stakeholders…Combating counterfeit medicines and drug abuse is everyone’s responsibility, from government, industry, policy makers, civil society, the media and right down to individual consumers.’’

The launch of the anti-microbial drug resistance policy and national action plan and the yet to be launched medicines policy, will help in fighting fake and drug abuse, he stated.

Mr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu added that, government is supporting and will continue to support initiatives aimed at improving the health of citizens.

Investing in people he said is one of the appropriate strategies to help improve the standard of living of Ghanaians and should be complimented by investments in health and Ghana’s social economic standards can only be improved by healthy citizens.

He was speaking at an event organized by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) today [Monday] to dialogue on the way forward in ending tramadol abuse.

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