Maxwell Awumah, GNA
Ho, Sept. 19, GNA - Some drug peddlers in the Volta region are allegedly repackaging orthodox medicines and relabeling them as herbal products for public use.
A total of 15 of such peddlers have been arrested by the Volta Regional Directorate of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) during its post market surveillance activity in the main Ho market on Wednesday.
The seized drugs ranged from herbal to orthodox medicines and from antibiotics to aphrodisiacs.
Mr Gorden Akurugu, Regional Head of FDA, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency said majority of the seized products contravened the Public Health ACT 851 of 2012.
He said the peddlers were using deceit and counterfeiting to sell the sub-standard products through the market for livelihood, a sine qua non for public health disaster.
He said FDA findings revealed that "LY MPH SHAMEI," a supposed unregistered antibiotic is being repackaged from sachets or capsules strips into small containers and given local branding such as “Joseph Herbal Capsules" with claims to cure low sperm count, syphilis and menstrual.
He said the same capsules were repackaged and rebranded as "Special Gono- Gonorrhoea.
Mr Akurugu said the peddlers repackaged a suspected "Dazipam" as sleeping tablet declaring it as “Dompe Blue Power" literally, "bone" power to relief body pains with Dexamethasore tablets serion, a strictly prescription medication for bodybuilders being sold in open market for curing many illnesses.
He said the products were counterfeited and that their action constituted a criminal act and consequently handed them over to the Police for further investigation and prosecution.
The Regional Director asked "patients must go to the hospital to see a doctor or buy medication from an accredited pharmacy or from over-the-counter sellers, where you are sure of status of product and safe storage conditions.
He added that, “FDA will not relent on its surveillance roles in the region or nation at large.”
Mr Akurugu said FDA was ready to assist herbal medicine practitioners to receive industrial support or technical assistance for the registration of their products for a secure livelihood, maintaining, only tried and tested herbal products would be allowed to sell.