The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is collaborating with the Ghana Police Service at Mim in the Ahafo region to clamp down on persons who contribute to the abusive use of tramadol, a medicine usually used to relieve moderate and severe pain, including pain after surgery.
Tramadol is a very useful product in healthcare delivery but when it is abused, it becomes dangerous to one’s health and therefore there was the need for the regulation and control of its use.
The joint exercise by the FDA and the Police at Mim was to ensure that unauthorized persons and facilities do not have access to this product.
It was in furtherance of the enforcement of E.I. 168 (2018) which controls the importation, manufacture, and sale of tramadol and tramadol-containing products.
Even though Drug Stores are not supposed to, under any circumstances, display, sell, distribute or stock tramadol, it came out during the exercise that some of these stores are indulging in the act while others were also selling other unregistered products.
These various illegal acts are against the law and ultimately affect the health and safety of the people which propelled the exercise to identify and deal with perpetrators.
Daniel Nti, a Senior Regulatory Officer of the FDA, speaking after the joint operation at Mim said this explains why health facilities below district level and over-the-counter medicine sellers (OTCMS) popularly known as Drug stores are not allowed to dispense tramadol. He added that pharmacies are even supposed to receive valid prescriptions before they can dispense it.
This, according to him, is what the E.I on tramadol seek to achieve by ensuring that the abuse and misuse of tramadol is curtailed.
“The FDA wants to assure the general public that the institution will do everything within its powers and within the ambit of the law to ensure public health and safety”, he further stated.
Mr. Nti added that the FDA is a national regulatory body which is mandated by the Public Health Act, Act 851 of 2012 to protect public health and safety and therefore regulates products to ensure that consumers are always safe and derive the needed benefits from regulated products.
“Falling out of these, the Authority realized that there is abuse of certain substances which do not promote public health and safety as such the health minister came out with the E. I. 168 for the control of the importation, manufacture, and sale of tramadol and tramadol-containing products in 2018 to prevent its abuse especially by the youth,” he stressed.
Throwing more light on the E. I., Mr. Nti explained that per that law, “All dosage forms and strengths of registered Tramadol and Tramadol-containing products shall be dispensed as “Prescription Only Medicines” while All dosage forms and strengths of registered Tramadol and Tramadol-containing products shall not be prescribed and dispensed at health facilities below the level of District Hospitals.”