Pharmacists trained on combating counterfeit drugs

Counterfeit Drugs
Counterfeit Drugs

The Eastern Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organized a one-day training programme for stakeholders on counterfeit medicines and Proper Seals technology, a software to detect unregistered products.

The Koforidua event attracted association members from Over-The-Counter-Medicines (OTCMs) in the New Juaben District of the Eastern region.

Madam Anita Owusu-Kuffour, Eastern Regional Acting Head of FDA said there were alarming problems with counterfeit medicines and that with the intervention of a new software called Proper Seals, there was an urgent need for the office to bring it up to stakeholders to help combat counterfeiting.

Proper Seals is a platform to verify the status of all FDA regulated products, whether registered or not, she explained, adding that, while measures such as law enforcement, allocating resources to monitor the market could help reduce counterfeit drugs, the introduction of technology could complement it.

Madam Owusu-Kuffour said drugs like Tothema, Postinor 2, Combiart and artificial tears from Global Pharma Healthcare were among the counterfeits, and urged pharmacists to beware of such illegal drugs that may be found for sale at licensed facilities.

She vowed the plans and commitment of the FDA to take those illegal drugs off the local market space and ensure genuine drugs were sold to the public.

Regarding the software – proper seals – she said manufacturers or pharmacists could use their smartphones to put their details on the proper seals to get relevant information.

She said the FDA worked with the Proper Seals Alliance and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to develop the software.

The Food and Drugs Authority is responsible for protecting public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy and safety of human and veterinary medicinal products, biological products and medical devices; and by ensuring the security of our nations’ food supplies, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

She added that “the FDA does not have a set time to raise awareness among the public and its stakeholders, instead we try to raise awareness as often as possible, possibly not among members of the OTCM association but among other stakeholders, with whom she works.”

Mr. Benjamin Kwadwo Donkor, Chairman of the OTCM Association, New Juaben District, was pleased with the new Proper seals software and said the knowledge gained on their operations would be of much help.

He warned drug peddlers against selling counterfeit drugs to the public, saying if caught , they would be punished severely because they were jeopardising human health.

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