Ghanaians spend millions of cedis treating complications caused by usage of drugs from peddlers, the Ghana National Association of Chemical Sellers in the Western Region has noted.
“Drug peddling has had a very negative impact on our economy both directly and indirectly,” Mr Yaw Ofosuhene, the Western Regional Secretary of association said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
He said these drug peddlers lacked adequate knowledge on the medicine they sell and therefore ended up providing wrong doses which gave side-effects leading to various complications.
Mr Ofusuhene further said these drug peddlers were unable to differentiate original drugs from counterfeit ones since most of their products were purchased from unapproved sources.
He said most of the drugs handled by the peddlers were without company names, registration, location and do not have expiry dates, thereby exposing many innocent people to danger.
Mr Ofosuhene noted that these drugs have not been certified by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) while some were wrongly labelled.
He said that these charlatans most often mention a whole lot of indications uses for one drug which are usually not true.
Also, he said, the drug peddlers have a profit motive which they placed above the importance of the health of the consumer.
He said drug peddling is an illegal activity since peddlers do not pay any form of revenue to either the district assembly or any revenue mobilization agency.
Mr Ofosuhene said the passage of the Food and Drugs Law (PNDC LAW 305B) and the establishment of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) were aimed to regulate the manufacture and distribution of drugs in the country.
The Pharmacy Act (Act 489), he said, is also aimed at regulating the practice of the Pharmacy profession.
Mr Ofusuhene said several attempts made by the FDB and the Pharmacy Council to fight drug peddling has been unsuccessful.
He called on the public to join the fight against drug peddling so as to reduce the devastating effect on the Ghanaian consumer.
Mr Ofusuhene said the 1994 Pharmacy Act (Act 489) and the Food and Drug Law (PNDCN Law 305B), allow a police officer to arrest individuals if they suspect that they are selling counterfeit drugs, whether in a registered premises or not.