The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has inaugurated an inter-agency task force to monitor, seize and share information on substandard, spurious and counterfeit medical products.
The task force, which will be led by FDA, will also report falsified medical products to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other regulators, as well as share intelligence on product enforcement, surveillance, quality and suspicious market activity.
The task force, which has representatives each from the Pharmacy Council, the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), the Ministry of Health, the Economic and Organised Crime Unit (EOCO) and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), will also conduct an overview of product enforcement and quality monitoring activities undertaken by the FDA in the past six months.
There will also be representatives each from the Judicial Service, the Attorney General’s Department, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Police Service on the task force.
Mr Hudu Mogtari Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, who inaugurated the committee, expressed great concern about the Substandard, Spurious, Falsely Labeled and Counterfeit (SSFFC) products in the health commodity chain and described it as ?increasingly becoming a global security threat?.
The products, he explained, aside being wrongly labeled, also contained wrong ingredients that had no active pharmaceutical composition.
“The application of SSFFC medical products can result in wrong and inaccurate diagnosis and therapeutic failure which can lead to incapacitation,” Mr Mogtari added.
Mr Mogtari said through the post-market surveillance activities of the FDA, it had been detected that herbal preparations were adulterated with antibiotics, steroids, vitamins and counterfeit anthelmintic aphrodisiacs.
He said a recent product quality monitoring conducted by the FDA in collaboration with the United States Pharmacopeia revealed the presence of substandard unterotonics in most hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
Mr Mogtari said the phenomenon of counterfeit and falsified medicines were primarily difficult to deal with owing to the free trade agreement and policies across Africa, permitting the free movement of goods and people and expressed the hope that the formation of the inter agency Committee would find a solution to deal with it.
Mr Thomas Amedzro, Head of Drug Enforcement at the FDA, who took the Committee through the global and local situation of the menace, expressed worry at the promotion and sale of food supplements and devices, which had been described as being able to diagnose, prevent or cure diseases
He called on all to be vigilance and report any suspicious operation to the appropriate quarters for legal actions to be taken since such illegal actions would affect public health and safety.