Tobinco considers out-of-court settlement
Officials of Tobinco Pharmaceutical Company say they are holding talks with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to resolve the banter between the two entities over allegations of fake drugs.
The management of Tobinco had decided to sue the FDA for declaring that about 100 drugs imported by the company from India were fake but had opted for an out-of-court settlement of the issue with the drugs authority.
According to the lawyer for Tobinco, Mr Frederick Asamoah, although the company would not discontinue with the case entirely, it was exploring avenues for an amicable settlement of the matter.
Last week, Tobinco applied for an interim injunction to restrain the FDA from further destroying its drugs until the final determination of the suit.
The action of the company followed the allegation by FDA that some drugs imported by the company were fake and dangerous.
Statement of claim
In its statement of claim, Tobinco said the company had been engaged in the pharmaceutical business for the past 13 years, during which period it established a business relationship with Bliss GVS Pharma in India.
It averred that after registering some particular drugs with the FDA, it started distributing them throughout the country, adding that it was only when the drugs had been certified and registered with the FDA that Tobinco went ahead to distribute them.
Subsequently, the Accra Fast Track High Court has fixed October 16, 2013 to hear the case.
But the plaintiff, in a sharp U-turn, told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview that it was attempting to solve the matter amicably to ensure a win-win situation for both parties.
Mr Asamoah, who failed to disclose details of the discussion underway, said ‘should the two parties come to an amicable settlement, the case may automatically be out of court’.
Justifying Court Action
Justifying the company’s earlier decision to go to court, Mr Asamoah said while the court action was meant to prevent the FDA from the consistent destruction of its drugs, ‘we realise it will be prudent to settle the matter amicably to prevent an intensification of media broadcast on the matter’.
The Public Relations Officer of the FDA, Mr James Lartey, on the other hand, told the Daily Graphic that officials of the authority were yet to receive correspondence from Tobinco in relation to the settlement talks.
How the Saga unfolded
The FDA, in September this year, seized over 100 medicines imported and distributed by Tobinco Pharmaceuticals.
Out of the number, only seven were duly given approval by the FDA for distribution, while others were found to be unregistered and fake.
Since the efficacy and safety of the medicines could not be ascertained, the FDA banned the manufacturer, Bliss GVS Pharma Limited, from exporting and distributing its medicines in the country.
The Chairman of Tobinco, Mr Samuel Tobbin, and the Director of Bliss GVS Pharma, Mr S. N. Kamath, were later said to have signed an undertaking not to import or distribute unregistered or fake medicines onto the Ghanaian market after a series of meetings with the regulatory body.
By Della Russel Ocloo/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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