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11.09.2006 General News

FDB to publish list of approved adverts

By GNA
FDB to publish list of approved adverts
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The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) would from the close of work on Monday publish the list of approved adverts to be run in the media.

Any advert that does not appear in the approved list released by the Board should be sent back to the Board for revalidation. This was the outcome of a stakeholders' meeting it had with the Advertisers' Association of Ghana (AAG); Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA); Minister of Health and the Minister of Information and National Orientation on Monday.

Mr Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, Chief Executive of FDB, told the meeting in Accra that the revision of the list would continue in the subsequent days.

"The health of the people should be paramount and protected as we go along our businesses to earn money and any media that advertise unapproved adverts do that at their won peril and will meet us in court," he said.

He said the misleading nature of some advertisements, unsubstantiated and false claims being made for cure of diseases in recent times had been of a great concern to the Board, hence the ban. "The problem is that scripts approved by the Board are changed and what we hear on the radio is completely different from what we have approved, which, we strongly believe, is not in the best interest of the health of the people."

He explained that the law did not permit advertisements for cure of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and infertility but "we hear adverts of drugs that cure these diseases and this is a breach of the law".

FDB on September 1 placed a ban on advertisement of drugs and traditional medicines in the media because of the misleading nature of some advertisements, unsubstantiated and false claims being made, airing of unapproved adverts, advertising of products for cure of diseases for which the law did not permit and the dangers these adverts posed to public health.

Apart from adverts on radio and television stations, public places, markets and inter and intra-city buses that have been turned into advertising points and drug distribution outlets were also banned.

Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), Minister of Health, said the Ministry had developed a training manual for traditional medicine practitioners whilst others had been sent to China and India to learn more to improve on the practice in Ghana.

He cautioned manufacturers to ensure that they did the right thing, saying, "do not do anything that will set me back and allow the orthodox practitioners to point accusing fingers at me and say we told you so". Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Information and National Orientation, said those who had their advertisements approved would have them running and urged those who had tampered with the contents of their adverts to send them back to the Board for revalidation.

Mr Reginald Laryea, who represented AAG, thanked the two Ministers for their commitment in ensuring that the problem was settled amicably. He said the Association had the health of Ghanaians at heart and condemned the unscrupulous attitude of manufactures, who claimed to have the cure to certain diseases resulting to the ban by FDB.

Mr Kwasi Twum, who represented GIBA, told the Board that members of his Association would comply with the regulations and directives given by the Board.

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