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08.07.2004 Regional News

Seek clearance before airing commercials on drugs - Board

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Mankessim (C/R), July 8, GNA - Mr George Pentsil, Zonal Officer of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) in-charge of the Western and Central regions on Wednesday reiterated the need for radio stations to seek clearance from the Board before airing advertisements on drugs.

He said this would help the FDB to reduce "to the barest minimum" the promotion of fake and dangerous drugs among the unsuspecting public. Mr Pentsil made the call at Mankessim during a sensitisation meeting organised by his outfit for 180 herbal practitioners and manufacturers drawn from all the districts in the Central Region.

He said it was unfortunate that some radio stations had ignored warnings issued to them on advertisements, and had been advertising drugs, which their manufacturers claimed could cure incurable sicknesses like HIV/AIDS, diabetes and hypertension.

According to the Zonal Officer, PNDC Law 305B compels herbal practitioners and manufacturers to register with the FDB before going into operation, and that failure to register constitutes an offence.

Mr Pentsil said it was the responsibility of the FDB to ensure the implementation of regulatory measures relating to drug manufacturing in order to achieve the highest standard of safety, efficacy and quality of all preparations.

He said the Board would only register a practitioner after his or her samples had been certified by the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong-Akwapem.

The Zonal Officer advised the participants to comply with the rules and strive to operate under hygienic conditions to ensure the safety and efficacy of their drugs.

Nana Kwame Essoun, regional chairman of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, assured the FDB that his organisation would ensure that its members register with the Board.