General News of 2013-12-03

Napo fumes at Ben Ephson over false publication

Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has cautioned Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, Ben Ephson, to be mindful of the likely irreparable damage his publications could bring on Ghanaians.

“…newspapers are supposed to educate, entertain and inform but it is regrettable, if an elderly person like Ben Ephson can write such a thing in his newspaper, because Ben Ephson cannot claim to love Ghanaians more than Members of Parliament and he cannot also claim to be more knowledgeable than Members of Parliament. For this reason, he must always tell the truth,” Napo, as the NPP MP is affectionately called stated.

The Manhyia MP made these remarks during an interview with Adakabre Frimpong-Manso on NEAT FM, on a publication by the Daily Dispatch newspaper captioned, “Ghana’s Parliament wants peddlers of fake medicines to be given 90 days to ‘kill’.”

The Accra-daily, in its Monday, December 2nd edition reproduced a press statement from the Parliamentary Committee on Health, signed by its Chairman and MP for Wa West, Hon. Joseph Yieleh Chireh, on the stand-off between the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) and Tobinco Pharmaceuticals on one hand, and the Food and Drugs Authority on the other hand.

The impasse between the regulator (FDA) and TOBINCO Pharmaceuticals is still being fiercely fought in the media but Parliament intervened and called for a cease fire, as investigations into the claims by the FDA of Tobinco importing unregistered drugs continues.

On the back of this, Parliament, among others, requested the FDA to make the requirements regarding the importation and registration of drugs public, in order for stake-holders to be abreast with conditions attached to such a venture and their obligation.

However, the Daily Dispatch Newspaper believes that these directives by the Parliament of Ghana, flies in the face the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 and also a license for peddlers of fake drugs in Ghana, a 90 day freedom, to distribute them without hindrance.

The story, which had the photographs of President Mahama flanked on his left by the Manhyia MP and on his right by the NDC MP for Wa West, stated inter alia that Parliament has “virtually given peddlers of fake medicines in Ghana, a 90day (three months) freedom, to distribute them without hindrance, which has the possibility of harming and possibly killing those who use them”.

But Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, clearly unhappy with the publication, denounced and stated rather strongly that, Parliament can never endorse nefarious activities.

He also threw a challenge to Ben Ephson to come out and mention the names of the MPs who are calling for the sale of fake drugs, which has the potential of causing serious damage to the lives of Ghana, or stop destroying the reputation of noble people.