Danso/Hafsa Obeng, GNA
Accra, Nov. 13, GNA - The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has pledged its readiness to come out with a collective collaborative strategy that would make Ghana an unfavourable destination for dealers in fake drugs.
Ms Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of FDA, said it was, therefore, equipping its stakeholders such as the media, the judiciary and security agencies with skills on modern trends in pharmaceutical crime investigations, intelligence and handling of evidence to nib falsified medicines in the bud.
Ms Darko was speaking at the opening of a six-day training in pharmaceutical crime, intelligence and investigation training programme in Accra.
The workshop, which brought together officials from the FDA, the Judiciary, the Media and Security agencies was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom.
Ms Darko noted that pharmaceutical crime had become a global phenomenon and was posing a significant threat to security and economies of countries.
She said production and trafficking in falsified medicines was a multibillion illegal business, which was sustained largely by the lure of high financial gains that was combined with low risk of detection.
Ms Darko said while quality medicines supply was essential for the health of any nation, the consequence of pharmaceutical crime threatened the health of the population.
“Treatment failure, drug resistance are fast becoming a problem globally and put patients at risk,” Ms Darko said.
She said the leniency of penalties and low risk of prosecution had made the trade in falsified medicines attractive to unauthorised dealers and possibly criminal groups.
She said pharmaceutical crime included falsified medicines, medical devices, counterfeit, mislabelled and misrepresented medicines.
Ms Darko said over the years the FDA, in its market surveillance activities, had detected distribution of falsified versions of worm treatments, anti-malaria, antibiotics, analgesics, codeine-containing cough mixtures and controlled substance such as Tramadol and diazepam and other aphrodisiacs with unknown content and undetermined origin in Ghana.
She said those who peddled and smuggled those dangerous products from unauthorised premises included foreign nationals and persons who had also not been licenced for that purpose.
She told the participants that their valuable inputs during the training would be put into the work of the FDA.
Mr Thomas Amedzro, the Head of Drug Enforcement Department, FDA, who took participants through the; Dangers of Counterfeit Drugs, said they were a threat to vital organs and others also suffered adverse reactions and hypertensions.
He said the counterfeit drugs also decreased confidence in the health system.
Some of the challenges that the FDA had with these counterfeit drugs were that they were advertised on social media and delivered through courier service, he said.