GNA Cooked Fake FDA Drug List Story For Tobinco

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Embarrassed Officials Issue Apology

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has rubbished a publication accredited to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on an alleged “release of a list of registered products” by the Authority saying, it is not behind the circulation of the said drug list.

Meanwhile, insiders at the GNA, told The Herald that the story was cooked by a senior reporter (name withheld) at GNA at the instances of the public relations and communication firm for Tobinco Pharmaceutical Company, which is facing accusation of importing, distribution and selling of medicines described as fake by FDA.

This paper is informed that officials of GNA, including its Managing Director, Bernard Otabil, yesterday met FDA officers and promised to carry out an investigation into the conduct of the senior reporter whose action has brought an embarrassment to the reputable news agency.
GNA also promised to retract the publication and apologise to the FDA, which The Herald leant has been inundated with calls from the companies, whose drugs have erroneously been listed by GNA as fake and unregistered.

Analysts say the motive behind the concocted story was to create room for questions as to why Tobinco alone has been singled out by the FDA as having imported fake and unregistered drugs into the country, when other companies were equally flooding the country with other fake drugs.

Indeed, shortly after yesterday’s meeting, the news agency quickly issued a retraction, saying it “apologises unreservedly to the FDA and any other organisation or individual that may have been inconvenienced by the said publication”.

In write-up titled: “Clarification: FDA releases list of registered products” claimed that “The Ghana News Agency (GNA) wishes to clarify details contained in its news item ‘NHEL 002’ of Wednesday, October 16, 2013 under the heading, “FDA releases list of registered products”.

The GNA’s attention has been drawn to the fact that the list of registered drugs purported to have been released by the FDA to the Agency’s reporter was actually not released by the Authority and therefore does not fully reflect the actual registered list of drugs captured in the Authority’s database.

In fact, the story was written based on registered products as published on the FDA’s website at the time of filing the report.

However, it has been brought to the Agency’s attention, also, that some of the products that were not captured on the FDA list on its website and therefore subsequently stated in the GNA story as unregistered, were duly registered by the Authority, but not yet added to the list published on the Authority’s website.

The Agency, therefore, apologises unreservedly to the FDA and any other organisation or individual that may have been inconvenienced by the said publication”.

The FDA had in a press statement forwarded to The Herald, denied the GNA manufactured list, saying its list of registered products has been posted on its (FDA’s) website and called on the general public to disregard the said publication which also mentioned some products as “unregistered and fake”.

John Odame-Darkwah, Deputy Chief Executive in-charge of Food Safety Division signed the statement denying knowledge of the said published list which has gone viral in the media including on peacefmonline, since last Monday.

The FDA statement asked the general public to note that the list of registered products posted on the FDA website is updated periodically.
It entreated the public, particularly the media, to always confirm stories related to FDA with the Head of Communications (on 0244337235) before going public.

The cooked GNA publication had claimed that the FDA had released a list of 1887 registered pharmaceutical products as against scores of unregistered (fake drugs) ones at the end of September 2013.

It claimed that the “list of the unregistered (fake drugs) products includes: PANADOL – paracetamol, PANADOL EXTRA, STAMLO – Amlodipine, antihypertensive; PROCOLD – anticold medication; ELERON – popular blood tonic; FEROGLOBIN – popular blood tonic; APETAMIN – popular appetite stimulant; APC – most common pain killer; VIROL BLOOD TONIC – popular blood tonic; and TOBTABS -pain killer.

The list of registered pharmaceutical products posted at the FDA website: http://www.fdaghana.gov.gh and obtained by the GNA on Tuesday indicates that many products on the Ghanaian market were not listed (registered) in the current list of the authority.

The pharmaceutical drugs not listed in the FDA registered products includes: four of Unicom Ghana Limited’s drugs: Duromine 30mg capsules 30,s; Cadiphen expectorant 100ml; Cziprodac 500mg tablet 10ₓ10; and Haem up liquid-pet bottle 200ml.

Eighteen drugs of Luex Prescription Products: Acidom caps 2ₓ10’s; Asthalex syrup 100ml; Betatop 12.5mg tablets 30’s; Diclolex power heat gel 30g; Duomal 20/120 tablets 24’s; Duomal syrup 60ml; Neo- hycolex e/e /n drops 5ml; Stomocaine suspension 200ml; Anticid plus suspension 200ml; and Anticid plus tablets 2ₓ10’s.

The rest of Luex unlisted products were: Bonaplex syrup 200ml; Canalex cream 20g; Ferroforce tablets 3ₓ10’s; Ferrolex syrup 200ml; Flurest tablets 10’s; Lexaglobin caps 30’s; Lexaglobin syrup 200ml; and Vitaforce syrup 200ml.

Three products of Vitabiotics UK – Osteocare tablets 30’s; Perfectil; and Visionace are not listed by FDA whilst Medriech Limited has four unlisted products-Biozole 200mg/ 5ml suspension 100ml; Guamet 500mg tablets 504’s; Paraflam 400mg tablets 100’s; and Telol 100mg tablets 28’s.

According to the FDA list: Sanofi-Aventis 14 products not listed, which includes: Claforan 1g injection; Clexane 4000 iu injection 2’s; Co Arsucam 50/135mg tablets 3’s; Daonil 5mg tablets 100’s; Flagentyl 500mg tablets 4’s; Maalox suspension 150ml; Maalox tablets 10’s; No-spa 40mg tablets 100’s; Rhinathiol adult syrup 125ml; Rhinathiolenfant syrup 125ml; Rhinathiol+promethazine syrup 125ml; Tavanic 500mg i.v 100ml; Tavanic 500mg tablets 5’s; Telefast 120mg tablets 10’s; and Triapin 5mg tablets 28’s.

Unichem Industries Limited has 13 products not listed which includes: Actigesic tablets 20ₓ1ₓ10’s; Azilex 250mg capsules 6’s; Buscolex 10mg tablets 10ₓ10’s; Diclolex 100mg tabs 10ₓ10’s; Floxalex 250mg capsules 50ₓ10’s; Kefrox 125mg/5ml suspension 70ml; and Lexzen 200mg tabs 25ₓ2’s.

The rest of Unichem products were: Maxapac tablets 20ₓ1ₓ10’s; Metrolexf tablets 21’s; Mycostat 150mg capsule 1’s; Panalex 500 tablets 100ₓ10’s; Piroxilex 20mg caps 10ₓ1ₓ10’s; and Wormbat 400mg tablets 25ₓ1’s.

Walter- Ritter Germany has four products not listed among FDAs registered products, which includes: Diclowal 100mg suppositories 10’s; Ethyl chloride spray 100ml; Spanish fly; and Tonocebrinon tablets 25’s.

According to FDA’s list of registered products; Wallace U.K. has six drugs not listed- Calcimax syrup 150ml; Concavit syrup 150ml; Histergan cream 25g; Neovita capsules 30’s; Vikonon tablets 30’s; and Challenger condoms.

The rest of the products not list include three drugs of M & G – Hepto pep syr 200ml; Micobact Pow 30g; and Biofil 5ml, whilst M & G PHARMA has ten drugs including Histarine 4mg; Emgimycin tabs; Emgifenac tabs; Emgipine tabs 10mg; Emgivit tabs; Emgivit tabs; Ezipen Tabs; Go-Cold Tabs; Dr. Lynn’s D&D Mixture 100ml; and No.200 Cough Mixture 150ml.

NEO PHARMA has four products not listed – NOVATEN TABS; APDYL – H COUGH SYRUP; NURIFER CAPS(Haematinic); and FEADATE SYRUP; whilst SPINTEX CHEMIST has 24 drugs not listed including Wet eye drop; Naphtex eye drop; Dytex; and Aptry vaginal tabs.

Other products of NEO PHARMA are Apcon inj; Apcan plus; Apcolin; Ambicort; Biosaren; Apnac gel; O-prazole; Ambrolite; Folfer; Artine; Texipril; Teropin; A-ten; A-mycin; F-zole; A-cip-d; A- tim; Cirocrom; Texanol; and Predex.

BASELINE PHARMACY has 22 drugs not listed – Aderon capsules; Artilum; Arteron; Dermiron plus; Eviron; Ganymol; Gentiron; Mecron; Pyliron; Pregron-m; Quiniron; Rocetil; Ronamlo; Ronflox; Ronolol; Ronzole; Roxime; Roxone; Pelodium; Maxlex mf; CBN cream; and Vitferon.

ERNEST CHEMIST has its products Tarzan; Big Joe; and NO 10 LIVER SALT not listed. The current list of FDA registered drugs is captured under eight specific categorizations: product name, generic name, strength, dosage form, applicant, manufacturer, local agent, and expiry date of the product”.

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