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General News
Beware! Drugs You Buy May Be Fake 4/4/2007
Be warned! The drug you buy in the pharmacy could be injurious to your health. According to Mr Philip Stevens, Director of Health Unit, an international policy network in London, about 25 per cent of drugs legally stuffed in pharmacies and other chemical shops in Ghana and other developing countries could be fake.

Addressing a seminar in Accra on the theme, ‘Fighting Diseases and Poverty,’ organised by the Centre for Human Education, a non-governmental agency, Mr Stevens said rather than to recover from their ailments, patients who take such medicines rather have their conditions aggravated.Drugs, he said, were meant to cure patients of their ailments. "If the very medicine that seeks to cure the patient turns out to be fake and therefore injurious to the patient, then it behoves the government and Ghanaians at large to help address the situation."

He told his audience that the strength of any nation depends on a healthy manpower base. It would therefore be unfortunate if the lives of the people were jeopardized through the use of fake drugs. Mr Stevens mentioned poverty and people’s desire for cheaper options as some of the reasons why fake drugs are doing the rounds in the Third World, where people prefer cheaper drugs to expensive ones, believing that both were helpful.

At the offices of the Food and Drugs Board, Deputy Chief Executive, Benjamin Botwe, said he would not rule out Mr Stevens’ assertion.He said the World Health Organization, for example, believes that between eight and 25 per cent of drugs being administered in developing countries are bad, while at the launch of the International Narcotic Report, as high as between 25 and 50 per cent was quoted.

Mr. Botwe appealed to the public to take a critical look at the inscriptions on drugs offered them not only to ensure that they were not only expired but also that they were of the right dosage.

G. Times

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