02.05.2005 Health

Develop effective health system solution to emerging epidemics - DEVAG

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Accra, May 02, GNA - Mr Hans Rudolf Roth, Chairman of DEVAG Pharmaceutical Industry Limited on Sunday called on policy makers and governments to develop more effective health systems to combat the emerging epidemics and malaria.

He said that, while cost effective interventions exist to tackle the "unfinished agenda" of fighting infectious diseases, the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases are likely to be more difficult and less cost effective.

Mr Roth called for a pragmatic action against malaria, describing it as an example of the unfinished agenda of global action to fight diseases, stressing, "health systems would have to be adjusted to cope effectively and efficiently with this global shift in the nature of diseases."

He was speaking to newsmen in Accra on recent directives by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to all clinics and companies holding stocks of 50 milligrams artesunate tablets with logos of "Sunflower" and "Lever" manufactured by Adams Pharmaceutical Group Company Limited of China to return them to the suppliers.

Mr Roth called for a thorough investigation into the drugs' presence in the country.

The FDB said the two brands of artesunate on the market had not been registered in the country and warned that it could not guarantee their safety.

"The Board cannot guarantee the safety, efficacy and quality of these brands and wishes to advise health care providers and the general public not to patronize them." It said the only artesunate drug registered in the country so far was in green and white packets, a brand manufactured by Guilin Pharmaceutical Company Limited of China with the inscription "Original Sinopharm & Devag."

Mr Roth said in the early 1990's DEVAG Limited, initiated moves to introduce Artesunate drugs in the country and entered into an exclusive sales and representation agreement through China National Pharmaceutical Foreign Trade Corporation (SINOPHARM), the then umbrella organisation for most of China's pharmaceutical producers, among them was Guilin Pharmaceutical Works, producers of Artesunate.

He said fake artesunate would create serious health problem and urged the FDB to expiate action on these drugs on the Ghanaian market. Mr Lawrence K. Atsyor, Superintendent Pharmacist of DEVAG in his contribution called for the development and improvement of health systems with extended use of integrated packages of interventions. He however, noted that vision, commitment and global leadership are critically needed not only from governments but from the private sector and civil society as well to achieve this turnaround.

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