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General News of Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Drugs sold at unapproved premises are fake – FDA

Mr. James Lartey, FDA PRO. Mr. James Lartey, FDA PRO.

The FDA has cautioned the public to desist from patronizing drugs from unapproved premises like commercial buses, as they have the propensity to imperil one’s health system due to their fake nature.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mr. James Lartey, the law has clearly indicated that Ghanaians should strictly purchase drugs from validated premises.

“When it comes to sale of medicines, we have a law in this country, and in the law, medicines are supposed to be sold at pharmacy shops, licensed chemical shops, or any other approved health facility like hospitals, clinics, maternity homes, and the like. Outside these places, you are not supposed to be patronize it,” he explained.

Mr. Lartey stressed that, the FDA in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service have tried to clear the drug peddlers off the streets but they keep returning in their numbers.

“We have embarked on exercises with the police to arrest people peddling at lorry parks, peddling at market places, and even banks. But the challenge is that, if you leave the scene, within a short time, they are back at a place,” he lamented.

Sharing in the vision of the FDA, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), on February 27, 2018, gave a direction to its members to not allow drug peddlers in their commercial buses. This is because the practice violates section 118(1) of the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851.

He recounted one of the FDA’s successful raids, which led to the arrest of many drug peddlers.

“I can quite remember, that a raid we did somewhere around Agbogbloshie area, led to the arrest of about 19 or 26 people,” he said.

However, they were released by the court, as it was the first time they were gripped by the law.

“They were sent to court, and the court freed all of them, saying they were first time offenders,” he added.

According to the FDA PRO, storage is one of the main factors that affect the quality of drugs the peddlers sell in the markets, and this in the long run makes the drug a fake one.

“Storage is a problem. When you look at medicines, they write on it ‘store at this temperature, or store in a refrigerator’. The moment you compromise the storage condition, the medicine will go bad.” he pointed out.

“These are some of the issues why it is not even advisable to buy products coming from unapproved premises.” he added.

Mr. Lartey sounded a word of caution to individuals involved in drug peddling;

“It is an offence to sell outside approved premises, we are advising all medicine peddlers that what they are doing is criminal and if they are caught, the law will deal with them. It is against the Public Health Act 851, and when you are caught, you will go to jail for a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 25 years,” he concluded.

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