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26.02.2009 Health

Students raise alarm over counterfeit drugs

By The Ghanaian Times

Pharmaceutical and Herbal Medical Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have expressed concern about drug counterfeits in the country.

Cyrus Baidoo, president of the Ghana Pharmaceutical Students Association (GPSA) and Ghana Herbal Medical Students Association (GHEMSA), KNUST, noted that the menace if not checked could jeopardize the economy as the health of most Ghanaians would be in danger.

Mr Baidoo observed that many people had taken to self-medication which had put pressure on the pharmaceutical industries stressing that some unscrupulous businessmen had taken advantage of the situation to import sub-standard drugs into the country.

Referring to a 2005 research by the Kauser Global Health, a United States-based health organization, he said that Africa was identified as a thriving market for counterfeit drugs especially anti-malarial drugs.

Mr Baidoo was addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Kotei near Kumasi as part of the association's drug awareness week celebration.

The celebration under the theme, “Irrational Drug Use and Menace of Counterfeit Drugs, A Hindrance to National Development”, was sponsored by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and was attended by hundreds of residents who were given free diagnosis of Hepatitis B, eye screening and deworming.

He appealed to the government and other regulatory bodies to take the necessary measures to curb the importation of counterfeit drugs.