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10.11.2004 General News

FDB to initiate bill on advertisement of drugs

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Ho, Nov. 10, GNA - The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) would soon initiate a Bill that will make radio and television stations liable for the advertisement of drugs without consulting the Board.

Mrs Narkie Terlarbie, the FDB Zonal Officer for the Eastern/Volta Regions, who announced this, said most of the aphrodisiac drugs contained materials, which were not approved by the Board.

She was addressing a one-day sensitisation workshop for members of the Volta Regional branch of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (GHAFTRAM) in Ho on Wednesday.

It is aimed at exposing participants to activities of the Board, regulations on herbal drugs and basic drug manufacturing practice. Mrs Terlarbie called on herbal medical practitioners to prepare their medicines scientifically.

She also urged them to obtain certification from recognised laboratories and license from the FDB saying "there are several products on the market that are unregistered and unlicensed".

Mrs Terlarbie warned that practitioners who illegally fixed the logo of FBD on their products would be dealt with according to the law if caught.

Mr Eric Owusu, Assistant Regulatory Officer of the Zone, said the Board was not down-playing the efficacy of herbal medicine but rather to guide practitioners to manufacture more potent products which could be acceptable within the statutory framework of existing laws. He said the pounding, alcoholic immersion and boiling of herbs to extract medicine had become obsolete adding that herbal infusion, injectables, tablets are accepted because they increase the shelf lifespan of medicines.

Mr Owusu said because practionioners in China and Japan produced herbal medicines scientifically, they look pharmaceutics and have infiltrated the local market.

He said: "If we refuse to adopt technology, imported drugs would dominate the market", and called for collaboration among all stakeholders.

Mr Jacob K. Domi, Volta Regional Chairman of GHAFTRAM, urged members to strengthen their internal structures to ensure efficiency. He called for the opening of administrative offices and formation of co-operatives for GHAFTRAM in all districts in the country to promote their work.

Participants in an open forum, urged the FDB to decentralise its laboratory operations in its Zonal offices to prevent the high cost being incurred by practitioners in commuting between research centres to determine the efficacy of their products.

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