Business News of Monday, 7 August 2017
It has been revealed in the Auditor General’s report presented to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament that pharmaceutical companies found to have in their possession unregistered drugs were allowed by the Food and Drugs Committee to keep them.
According to reports by the Auditor General, the medicines were found to have reduced in stock during an inspection conducted at various warehouses of the pharmaceutical clients involved.
‘’Some drugs which have been detained in the clients’warehouse found themselves on the market..” the report read.
Reports also revealed that drugs arrive in the country before importers apply for permits, generating the influx of unregistered drugs on the market.
CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mimi Darko admitted, pharmaceutical clients were allowed to house their unregistered medicines adding that nobody was ready to store them.
“We don’t have a choice… the police don’t want to store them, nobody wants to store them,” She indicated.
Mrs Darko also told the committee that clients connected with “missing medicines’’ were fined. However, she was unable to provide the audit team and the committee with the total amount realised from fines within the period under review.
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament headed by Dr James Klutse Avedzi has commenced a two-week public hearing to consider financial infractions and performance audit of the Food and Drugs Authority and other agencies.
Food and Drugs Authority
Food and Drugs Committee is mandated by the Public Health Act (PHA) Act 851, 2012 to regulate medicines on the Ghanaian market to ensure they are safe and meet the required quality health standards.
FDA has the responsibility to licence, register, undertake post-market activities, control importation and undertake quality assurance procedures on medicines.
About the audit report
The FDA uncovered three giant Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies imported three brands of medicines; Oxytocin, Ecogormetrine and Quinine injections which according to the authority when given to women will fail to control bleeding after child birth as well as death.
Also, a study carried out by Professor Ofori-Kwakye and Mariam El-Dua found that 14 out of 17 sampled Artesunate tablets sold in pharmacies in Kumasi failed to meet European Pharmacopoeia content requirements.
The Auditor General per his mandate conducted a performance audit into the activities of the FDA.
The reason for the audit was to find out whether measures put in place by the FDA to regulate the importation and manufacture of medicines to ensure that medicines are safe and meet the required quality standards.