A 52-year-old Chinese, Wang Dawei, has been arrested by the police for activities which the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) says pose serious threat to public health and safety.
The suspect, who is the owner of Tasly Company Limited and Qunloon Ghana Limited, both Chinese companies based at East Legon in Accra, is alleged to be repackaging expired drugs and selling them together with unregistered medicine to the public.
He is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police. Service, but currently on bail to report to the police daily.
The Communications Manager of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), Mr James Y. Lartey, told the Daily Graphic that initial police investigations revealed that the suspect had been operating in the country since 2004.
A statement on the issue signed by the Chief Executive of FDB, Dr Stephen K. Opuni, earlier yesterday indicated that unregistered products allegedly being imported and distributed by Qunloon included Male Nourishing Oral Liquid, Roma Capsules, Femicare and Araba Ba Zhen Pills II.
In addition, the company was alleged to be distributing unregistered antimalarial tablets — Qunloomar 20/120, Qunloomar Paediatric 20/120, Qunmatab Paediatric and Qunmatab.
The other company, Tasly Company Limited, also allegedly deals in products which have not been registered by the Food and Drugs Board and the products include Bee Pollen Soap II, Honey-Pollen Soap II, Shusha Pads-Night and Shusha Pad-Daily.
“Ounloon Gh Ltd is repackaging expired medicines and affixing new expiry dates on them; forging FDB registration number on products that have not been registered with the FDB; and flouting the labelling requirements of Ghana (LI1451) by labelling its products only in Chinese without any English translation. Some of its products have no inscription at all on the primary package,” it stated.
The FDB said the activities of the companies came to its notice through its post-market surveillance activities and cautioned the general public that since the listed products had not been tested and given approval by the FDB, their safety, efficacy and quality could not be guaranteed.
It reminded the general public that the action of importing, selling and supplying medical devices and herbal medicinal products without registering them with the FDB flouted Section 18 of the Food and Drugs Law, PNDCL 305B, which states that “No person shall manufacture, prepare, sell, supply, export or import into Ghana any drug, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical unless the article has been registered with the Food and Drugs Board…”
“The Food and Drugs Board has, meanwhile, directed Tasly Co Ltd and Qunloon Gh Ltd to halt the importation, distribution, supply, sale and usage of such unregistered products and advises anyone who has purchased such products from them or any other distributor or importer to return them since the FDB will not deal kindly with anyone found dealing in such unregistered products,” it added.
The FDB, in pursuance of its mandate, directed that all companies or individuals who were either using, importing or supplying those unregistered products should immediately halt the practice and seek further directives from the FDB.