FDA Issues Warning on Fake Medicines in Ghana; Introduces an ‘App’ to Safeguard Public Health

FDA Issues Warning on Fake Medicines in Ghana; Introduces an 'App' to Safeguard Public Health

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public to be wary of fake and substandard medicines on the market to protect their health and prevent adverse reactions.

Mr Jude Okai, a Communication Officer at the FDA, gave the caution in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a sensitisation programme held at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

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“We have realised as a regulatory body that there has been an influx of substandard and falsified medications on the market, so there is the need for the public to look out for certain things to make sure that whatever medication they go to buy is safe for use,” he said.

It is part of the rollout of a project dubbed, “promoting quality medicines plus”, being implemented by the FDA to raise awareness of the public about fake and substandard medicines on the market and the adverse of taking such medicines.

The sensitisation was also to introduce the public to the “The Med Safety App”, a new tool developed by the FDA to help the public to report adverse reactions to medicines to the FDA or the healthcare workers for prompt actions.

The app also offers people the opportunity to read more about the medicines prescribed by their doctors before purchasing.

Mr Okai observed that many Ghanaians often did not pay attention to details on medicines such as expiry date, certifications and standards and the issue had led to many buying fake and substandard medicines and experiencing adverse health effects.

He said taking falsified and substandard medicines was dangerous and could lead to death and urged the public to report any reactions to medicines to the FDA and healthcare providers for assistance.

Mr Okai warned dealers in falsified and substandard medicines to desist from such activities and added that the FDA would intensify its surveillance to clamp down on such activities and offenders would be made to face the law.

Ms Linda Eyram Mensah, the Information Officer with the Communications Department of the FDA, advised the public to buy medicines from only certified sellers and medicines approved by the FDA.

Mr Abel Ndego, the Upper East Regional Principal Regulatory Officer of the FDA, explained that the FDA had been undertaking intensive market surveillance of all the 15 municipalities and districts in the region to ensure that fake and substandard medicines were no longer on the market.

He said the FDA, with support from the security agencies, had contributed to some offenders being arrested and prosecuted.

Mr Ndego urged the public to volunteer information to help the authority fight fake and substandard medicines peddling.

He said ensuring the safety and health of the public was the primary role of the FDA, however, due to the porous nature of the borders in the region, miscreants still found their way with unapproved drugs into the country and the public needed to be wary of that.

“Currently, we have officers stationed at the legitimate entry points of the borders to inspect every consignment coming into the country to ensure that any food and drug-related products that are entering the country through our region meet the regulatory standards,” he said.

Source: GNA

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