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Regional News of Sunday, 3 February 2008

Source: GNA

Enforce ban on drugs adverts on radio stations

Kumasi, Feb 3, GNA- The assemblyman for the Kaasi electoral area in Kumasi, Mr Charles Oduro Acheampong, has called on the Ghana Pharmacy Council and the Food and Drugs Board to ensure that the ban on drug advertisements on radio are enforced to ensure that medications are not abused.

He also called on the security agencies to check the peddling of drugs in vehicles and other places to discourage self-medication, which is one of the greatest challenges to health care delivery in the country.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Kumasi on Sunday, he said certain individuals or herbalists had failed to abide by the law banning the prescription of drugs for diseases on the radio, saying, "It is being abused with impunity".

Mr Acheampong noted that the peddling and adverts on drugs, which started with herbal preparations had now gradually covered orthodox medicines as well, and as such the peddler often confused people to believe that one medicine could cure different diseases especially hypertension, impotency, diabetes and infertility.

"Innocent people have been made to have faith in these drugs, which are unlicensed so much that they refused to patronize health institutions for proper diagnosis of their ailments for an effectively cure without any side effects".

The assemblyman said so many people have had side effects after taking such drugs, resulting in much more critical conditions leading to them finally attending hospitals.

Mr Acheampong therefore stressed that if immediate steps were not taken to arrest the situation, their activities would have a negative effect on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) especially in the rural areas.

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