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27 February 2017

FDA embarks on public awareness of fake drugs

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The move is to address the shortfall of personnel of the FDA to monitor and ensure that the consumer or the patient is served with wholesome products and with the right prescribed dosage.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has embarked on a public awareness programme to empower consumers and patients to report expired products and suspected counterfeit drugs to the authority.

The move is to address the shortfall of personnel of the FDA to monitor and ensure that the consumer or the patient is served with wholesome products and with the right prescribed dosage.

“In other countries, somebody will pick something on the shelf and immediately determine that there is something wrong with it and that is what we have started doing,” the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

She said all regulatory agencies the world over were understaffed, and that it was not a peculiar situation in Ghana, especially where for the last four years, the authority had not been able to employ.

Inadequate staffing

Mrs Darko said sometimes people questioned why the FDA did not  prevent certain drugs or items on the market.

“Unfortunately, we are not everywhere. We wish we were, but we are not. We need staff to be able to do what we do”, she explained

It is for this reason that the Authority is empowering the consumer to be discerning  to help the authority to do what it was supposed to do, she explained.

Patient safety

Mrs Darko said another pharmaco-vigilant programme, dubbed, the “patients safety programme,” has also been designed to empower the society to question the efficacy of drugs.

“With the pharmaco-vigilant programme, we are empowering the patients to know that if I take a product and I look at the label, I can actually tell that there is something wrong with it’’.

Mrs Darko said through the pharmaco-vigilant programme, “we have picked up one or two counterfeit products.”

Regulator

She said it was her intention to make FDA stick to its regulatory role by staying away from running after fake or counterfeit products on the market.

“We cannot be doing that, we need to get to the point where we become regulators and not police people,” she said, admitting that would not be easy.

 

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