FDA intensifies campaign against fake, substandard medicine

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On August 31, 2023, the Food and Drugs Authority in the Eastern region began a public education campaign at the Kumasi lorry station in Koforidua with the goal of eradicating subpar and fake medications from the region.

The “Promoting The Quality Medicines Plus (PQM+) Program” advocacy campaign also aims to inform and inspire the public about the importance of acquiring approved medicines from licensed pharmacies in order to prevent buying counterfeit goods from the market.

The goal of the campaign, according to the Eastern regional head of the FDA, Madam Anita Owusu Kuffour, who spoke at a small durbar held at the station, was to increase medication safety among the target audience. It also aimed to increase awareness and advocacy on medication safety among identified stakeholders and advocates in the regional capital.

In order to ensure their own safety, Anita Owusu Kuffour has recommended the people to steer clear of buying drugs from roadside vendors and instead work with OTCs and pharmacy stores.

According to the regional manager, studies have shown that counterfeit and inferior medications continue to be a problem in the poor globe, and Ghana is no exception.

She stated in a brief interview with Kaakyire Kwasi Afari of Koforidua-based Afeema FM that the region must ignore the risks posed by subpar and forged medications, often known as “counterfeit medicines.”

She revealed that both foreign and herbal products that failed to meet either their quality standards or specifications or both, while falsified medical products are those products that are deliberately or fraudulently misrepresented in their identity, composition or source.

She said, as part of Food and Drugs Authority’s activities to flash out counterfeit medical sellers from the market, they have developed and distributed printed posters and leaflet with visual appealing images to grab attention and effectively convey key messages.

Again, training for management of transport terminals, drivers and coach assistants to become advocates of medicine safety within their respective work environment are in force.

The regional manager said, in as much as the FDA support the production of herbal medicines, she noted that it’s important for herbal practitioners to seek FDA approval for the product to avoid being arrested.

Samuel Kwadwo Antwi, a herbalist, expressed concern about the stringent rules and regulations governing herbal remedies. He also said that local producers were finding it difficult to stay in business because of growing inflation, high registration costs, and a lack of markets for their goods.

To prevent unsafe drugs, Mr. Samuel Antwi applauded the FDA regional manager and her staff for raising public awareness.

According to Mr. Kwame Agyare, an executive member of the Koforidua to Kumasi GPRTU, herbalists who sell drugs to station passengers would henceforth be subject to regulations governing their conduct.

Source: Kaakyire Kwasi Afari

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