Health News of 2014-03-13

Gov't to establish Bio Pharmaceutical Research Centre

Dr. Alfred Sugri Tia, a Deputy Minister of Health, has said the government would soon establish a Bio Equivalence and Bio Pharmaceutical Research Centre in Ghana.

He said the Centre, aimed at serving the West African health organisation to produce and export drugs, would also assure the consumers of good quality drugs and meet international standards.

Dr. Tia said when he addressed the opening session of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists in Accra on the theme:"The impact of fake and sub-standard drugs on the quality of life in West Africa."

A total of 155 postgraduate pharmacists got inducted into office and certified as fellows of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists.

Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, the Governor of the Niger State of Nigeria, was also given honorary fellow of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists at the ceremony.

The Deputy Minister said for years now, no country in West Africa had a Bio Pharmaceutical Research Centre, which by World Health Organisation standards, tests the efficacy of drugs and export to other countries including the European Union.

"The Centre, we believe will improve existing capacity for quality assurance of pharmaceuticals and to have bio assurance system to support quality and access to medicines through local production," he said.

Dr. Tia urged them to deliberate and come out with innovative and effective ways of dealing with the menace of counterfeit medicines in the sub- region.

Dr. Tia attributed the menace of fake drugs to the free movement of goods and services in the sub- region, smuggling and peddling, illicit trade and markets for the medicines, inadequate access to health facilities and lack of trained personnel in the region.

He, therefore, called on the pharmacists to fight the menace of selling medicines in open markets and moving vehicles; a condition, he added, could stem the sale of fake drugs in West African markets.

The Deputy Minister said apart from causing harm to the consumers, the peddling of fake and substandard drugs also deprived pharmaceutical companies of revenue and profits and urged them to come out with measures that would regulate the sale of drugs in the African market.

Dr. Aliyu commended the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists for honouring him and inducting him as an honorary member of the group, and gave an assurance that he would help lead the crusade against the peddling of fake drugs in Niger State, Nigeria.