FDA Busts More Fake Malaria Medicines

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The fight by the Food Drugs Authority (FDA), against unscrupulous individuals whose sole interests is money at the expense of Ghanaians, is still on with the Authority alerting the general public and all health facilities about the presence of a fake anti-malarial medicine on the Ghanaian market – Quinine Sulphate Tablets (300mg).

The medicine in question is imported and distributed by St Kem Pharmaceuticals Ltd, whose offices are located at Patasi, Kumasi (opposite the Police Depot) and in Achimota, Accra on the First Floor of Dokua Plaza.

A press statement signed and copied to The Herald by the FDA’s Head Of Communications, James Lartey, described the medicine as having its batch number as 33587Q, manufacturing date as May, 2012 and expiry date as May, 2015 with the manufacturer and country of origin as Biochemie GmbH, Vienna, Austria.

Meanwhile, the supplier has been invited by the Security Agencies to assist in investigations.

This comes after the discovery of Gsunate Suppository, an anti-malaria drug manufactured by Bliss GVS Pharma of India, and imported into Ghana and distributed by Tobinco Pharmaceutical.

The arrest of Officials of the two companies and attempts by the FDA to have many of their medicines vetted for efficacy and properly registered, is generating lots of controversy with Parliament, pastors, the courts, media men, politicians, the pharmaceutical society of Ghana and Ghana Medical Association commenting on it.

In the case of Quinine Sulphate Tablets 300mg, the product has been packaged in a white plastic container, containing 1000 tablets with the inscription ‘essential drugs programme’ and the above mentioned information on the label.

“Results of laboratory analysis conducted on the product at the FDA Laboratory, showed that the Quinine Sulphate Tablet contains no active pharmaceutical ingredient, making it a complete counterfeit/fake medicine”, the FDA revealed.

The release said “Quinine Sulphate tablet is used to treat severe and complicated malaria”.

A total of 64 containers of 1000 tablets each (64,000 tablets) have been seized at the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital in the Brong Ahafo Region and St Kem Pharmaceuticals Ltd in Kumasi by FDA officials, during a post market surveillance activities.

It directed that “Hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and other facilities having stocks of the fake/Counterfeit Quinine Tablets with the above stated description should as a matter of urgency hand them over to the nearest FDA office countrywide”.

“The general public is entreated not to patronize the said product and to report to the FDA anyone found selling them”.

The FDA served notice that “it would continue to do all within its powers to execute its mandate to protect public health and safety at all times”.

Moreover, information from the general public on persons suspected to be in any practice with the potential of endangering public health and safety with respect to FDA’s mandate is most welcomed through any of the following contact numbers; 0244337235, 0244385086, 0267265087 or 0246809509.

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