A former Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Hon. Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, has cautioned the authority to handle its communications effectively to avoid running down ‘innocent’ companies.
According to him, the choice of words when it comes to communicating to the public as far as drugs are concerned is very important; hence care must be taken.
Mr Kyeremanteng-Agyarko, who happens to also be the NPP Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, was analyzing the work of the Authority especially in relation to Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited and the recent allegation that the company produces fake drugs.
The FDA says its post market surveillance exercises conducted have disclosed that a variety of medicines imported into the country by Tobinco were yet to be approved and those on the market are counterfeit and unregistered.
However, the Pharmaceutical company strongly hit back in an official statement saying “Our drugs that were and are being destroyed by the FDA are not fake drugs.”
The company stated clearly that in its thirteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, it has operated honestly and complied with all regulatory requirements of the FDA. They also completely rejected the allegation that they are dealing in unwholesome products.
Speaking to the issue on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Hon Agyarko indicated that “if there is risk, let us communicate it appropriately”.
He vouched for management of Tobinco; maintaining that they will ‘never’ deal in fake drugs and even if some of the products have not been registered, it does not make the drugs fake.
“Does it mean that everything he has done is wrong? Once you begin to make people feel that the company producing the drugs or the drugs itself is problematic, you create problems. FDA should go on with their duties however; I will plead with them to be cautious when communicating with the public (on issues of alleged fake drugs)...somebody like Tobinco will never indulge in producing or distributing counterfeit (medications)…he has no cause to do it…when it comes to these special products, the most important thing is the risk of communication…I want to encourage them (FDA) to do their work. They are like the last line of defense (medicallly) in this country but…” Kyeremanteng-Agyarko added.