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General News
FDA apprehends three companies over fake drugs 3/10/2013

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has seized large quantities of unregistered, fake and substandard medicines supplied to hospitals and pharmacies throughout the country by three Ghanaian companies.

The companies are Lymens Medical Supplies Limited, Osons Chemists and Sarkuff Pharmacy.

Lymens Medical Supplies Limited supplied unregistered, substandard and contaminated Oxytocin -Lytocin injections to regional medical stores and hospitals in Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Ashanti and Western Regions.

The substandard and contaminated Oxytocin injections according to the FDA were manufactured in China by companies with no addresses. The addresses only read – Yikang Pharma Company, Nantong Jinghua Pharm Company limited and Jiangsu Huayang Company.

The owner of Lymens Medical Supplies Limited has failed to provide the addresses of these companies to the FDA while efforts by the FDA to get the addresses of these companies yielded no results raising the suspicion of the non-existence of the said companies.

Osons Chemists registered Ergometrine injection from Ciron Drugs in India with the FDA, however samples of the product purchased from hospitals countrywide were found to be substandard as they contained no active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The company has also supplied unregistered and substandard Oxytocin injection manufactured in China by Anhui Medihel Company Limited to hospitals and other health facilities throughout the country.

Sarkuff Pharmacy on the other hand, supplied fake Oxytocin, Ergometrine and quinine injections to the Saltpond Government Hospital and other pharmacies. The medicines were manufactured in India, Pakistan and China for pharmacies in Nigeria with addresses like Onitsha and Agege Motor Road.

Sarkuff Pharmacy claimed that the drugs were bought from Nigerian drug peddlers at Okaishie in the Central business district of Accra. Oxytocin and Ergometrine injections are used to control bleeding in women after child delivery.

The FDA said the fake, substandard and contaminated Oxytocin and Ergometrine injections when given to women will fail to control bleeding after child delivery and could result in death.

The three companies are assisting the FDA and the police in further investigations, while hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and the general public are hereby being advised to be careful when purchasing medicines from these companies.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Thomas Amedzro, Head of Drug post Surveillance Unit of the FDA said the FDA would not allow any medicine manufactured by the said companies to be imported and distributed in Ghana until their origins are known and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections are conducted on the companies by the FDA and their facilities to see whether they are of good standard for the manufacturing of safe and quality medicines.

He said administering the substandard Oxytocin to women “will eventually lead to increased maternal mortality rate and therefore make it difficult for us as a nation to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (No. 5) which is about reducing maternal mortality and improving maternal health”.

“These fake, substandard and contaminated medicines pose serious threat to public health and safety since they are widely distributed in hospitals throughout the country for dispensing to patients”, Mr Amedro said.

The FDA assures the public of continued vigilance in its enforcement activity to promote public health and safety and therefore appeals to the general public to give any information on persons suspected to be in any practice possible of endangering public health and safety with respect to FDA’s mandate through any of the following contacts; 0244337235, 0244337252, 0208204968, 0244571563 or 0246809509

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