The Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, has stated that the Ministry of Health will not compromise on cracking the whip on individuals or organisations that fail to go by the standard regulatory procedure for importing drugs into the country.
She said the Ministry was very much concerned about the quality of drugs that were being imported into the country, and would therefore not tolerate the importation of sub-standard drugs which have the potential to claim the lives of citizens.
“When a person dies from taking a fake drug, we cannot resurrect that person,” she said.
The minister made this remarks at the inauguration of the new 11-member board of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in Accra.
The establishment of the new board follows recommendations by the committee set up to investigate the Tobinco, FAD saga some few months ago to dissolve the old board and create a new one.
Ms Ayittey said the new board is dynamic and expected to among other things self-monitor the FDA and to ensure importers complied with the standards of FDA.
The board, she further noted, is to advise the ministry on effective regulations and measures to take in ensuring only approved drugs are imported into the country.
The sector minister also took the opportunity to establish the fact that the FDA has no power to write letters to the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to quarantine some warehouses.
She said, “From the Public Health Act 851 of 2012, it is the Minister of Health that has the power to order quarantine and no other individual or organisation” and therefore requested for every concerned quarantining of warehouses to be referred to the Ministry of Health.
“We will write letters to that effect to ensure that we provide better services to the people of Ghana,” she noted.
Ms Ayittey tasked the board to initiate work to ensure traditional medicine producers complied with FDA regulations.
Totobi Quakyi, chairperson of the board in response to the statements made by the minister thanked government for selecting the members and pledged to work closely with the ministry and in accordance with the provisions made in the Public Health Act.
“We will not work above you but below you,” he said.
Other members of the board are Dr George Ben Crentsil, Ghana Standard Authority; Dr Belinda Afriyie Nimako, University of Health and Allied Sciences; Mr Joseph K. N. Nyoagbe, Registrar, Pharmacy Council; Dr Bashiru B. Kikimoto, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Veterinary Service Department and Togbe Dabra VI, Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practice Council.
Others include Mr Hudu Mogtari, Food and Drugs Authority; Ms Grace Ama Issahaque, Registrars Generals Department; Mrs Angela J. Owusu, Deputy Head of CEPS Laboratory; Prof Dominic Adotei Edoh, Centre for Scientific Research Institute and Plant Medicine and Nanam Tay Dziedzeave, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, Food Research Institute.