The Ghana National Medical Sellers Association (GNMSA), Western Regional Branch, has organized stakeholders workshop to discuss ways of finding lasting solution to the medicine counterfeiting menace across the country.
The workshop on the theme: “Fighting Counterfeit Medicines in Ghana Together – The Way Forward”, formed part of activities lined up by the organisation to find lasting solutions to the practice in the country.
Mr Issac Osei Owusu Badiako, Senior Consultant, Nestvillage Consult, said research had indicated that insufficient corporation between stakeholders, lack of regulation by exploring countries and within free trade zones, high prices, demand exceeding supply, transaction involving many intermediaries and week penal action, were the major causes of the increase in drug counterfeiting.
He said treatment with counterfeit medicines might have a devastating effect on the health of the wider population and it was important for regulatory bodies as well as all stakeholders and health care providers to take active part in stopping the practice.
Mr Thomas Amedzro, Head of Drug Post Market Surveillance, Food and Drugs Board (FDB) said the FDB had put in place major steps to ensure that counterfeiting of all products would be stopped, saying most counterfeit products were imported into the country.
He also indicated that the FDB had presented a public health law, which deals with issues relating to food, drugs, vaccinations, and chemicals and had been approved by Parliament awaiting presidential approval.
Mr Amedzro appealed to all stakeholders and individuals to notify the FDB in writing of any counterfeit drug before disposing them off, since such drugs might be harmful to the health of individuals and must be disposed off appropriately.
Mr Emmanuel Impraim, Assistance Commissioner, Customs Exercise and Preventive Services, said the service had over the years played its role diligently to stopping the menace but needed much more support from the FDB and other stakeholders in ensuring that the practice comes to an end.
“The FDB and other stakeholders need to training our personnel’s, equip them with the needed skills and logistics to enable them detect such products across all boarders in the country”.
Mr Samuel Cudjoe, Chairman, GNMSA, Western Region said the workshop was basically to brainstorm and identify a common solution to the counterfeit medication menace in the country, and also validate a research work conducted in the region.
He said there were 8,000 licensed chemical sellers across the country and it was important to undertake an advocacy action that would help fight the menace, since the practice was rapidly on the increase in most developing countries. GNA