General News Fri, 29 Sep 2006

Ban on drugs has brought fear, respect, for FDB

Accra, Sept. 29, GNA - The outcome of the temporary ban placed on advertisements of drugs, herbal and other medicinal products a few weeks ago, has brought in its wake, fear and respect for the Food and Drugs Board (FDB).

The ban has also made the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG), to realise that the Association has a regulatory body to check it.

Dr. Michael Agyekum Addo, President of PMAG, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at his office at the KAMA Health Services Limited in Accra on Friday. Since the ban was lifted, it had raised a lot of a public concern and misunderstanding between the PMAG and herbal practitioners. Dr. Addo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of KAMA Health Services Limited, said the situation had put the media on its toes and would have to be circumspect in its advertisements on drugs, especially those herbal products sold in buses without standardization. He was emphatic that the PMAG was not in conflict with herbal practitioners and advised them to standardise their herbal products from appropriate scientific research institutions like the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Akwapim Mampong and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi.

"The Association is, however, unhappy that this has happened, but we note that this issue is one that has been discussed on several occasions with the media houses and other stakeholders," he said. Dr. Addo stated: "We are aware that the public is unduly attracted to these adverts and promotions, but we are also aware of the health hazards that are associated with abuse and misuse of medicines and herbal preparations, which these adverts seek to promote." He further advised that now that the advertisements had been reintroduced, all drugs manufacturers should comply with directives of the FDB.

He urged the Board to take tough measures against any manufacturer who flouted the standing orders and noted that though drug manufacturers depended on advertisements and promotions to market their products, the Association believed that the public health and safety should be of paramount interest.
Source: GNA