Officials Trained On Intelligence Gathering On Fake Drugs

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Tuesday said despite the challenges of counterfeit drugs, it was poised to execute its mandate to ensure that medicines that Ghanaians consume were safe and efficacious. “Today all kinds of food and medical products have been counterfeited. Drugs counterfeited range from medicines for treatment of life threatening conditions to inexpensive generic versions of painkillers and antihistamines” However, stringent regulatory control of food and medicines and enforcement by national medicines regulatory authorities such as the FDA contributes significantly to the prevention of Substandard/Spurious Falsified Falsely-labelled Counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products and unwholesome products. Speaking at the opening of a training programme on intelligence gathering on fake and substandard medical products, Mr Hudu Mogtari, Chief Executive of the FDA said Ghana, like the rest of the countries in the ECOWAS region was faced with a number of challenges in the quest to rid its markets of SSFFC products. The training programme is to build capacity of staff in the area of intelligence gathering and analysis and to enhance the quality of their work. It was supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Capacity Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Finance Ministry with technical support from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the UK. Some of the major constraints he said were smuggling, using unapproved entry points and cross border trade in medical products which become conduits for fake and substandard medical products. Others are sale of medicines from unapproved premises and medicine peddling, weak regulatory agencies in neighbouring countries, non compliance with procurement in both public and private sector health facilities, trade liberalisation and multiple sourcing or parallel importations and non adherence to good distribution practices. These notwithstanding, the FDA, he said would continue to execute it mandate of ensuring quality and safe food and medical products for Ghanaians. Mr John Odame-Darkwa, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) said it was pertinent for officials of the Authority to be breast with current trends to deliver effectively and efficiently to deliver on their mandate and expressed the hope that they would come out of the programme more knowledgeable.