Min Of Health Must Stay Off FDA’s Back


What part of Tobinco Pharmaceutical has imported a fake malaria drug into the country does the Ministry of Health don’t understand?

The Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, last week set up a three member Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Alfred Tia Sugri, to look into the impasse between the Food and Drugs Authourity (FDA) and Tobinco Pharmaceutical.

The committee among other things is to review and advice the Minister about the steps to take to avoid the recurrence of the current challenge.
It is also to review the processes of medicines registration and post market surveillance.

The question that begs asking is what exactly are they going to do that is different from what the FDA is already doing?

If we ever hope to be competitive in the world and attract businesses and tourists into this country, we need to start thinking and doing the right things right.

We were all beside ourselves in 2009, when the President of the United States of America (USA), Barack Obama came into this country and told us to build strong institutions, instead of individuals. Every least opportunity we get we quote him, yet in practice we do differently.

These is not the first time FDA, has had to deal with a Pharmaceutical or a local herbal manufacturer for importing or selling unwholesome and unregistered drug.

What is different this time?
Tobinco Pharmaceutical has written and signed an undertaken promising not to import into the country any fake drugs. We do not think that was done under duress, it was an admission of guilt.

The Ministry of Health should rather have directed the Ministry of Justice and Attorney Generals Department to move on them. Why is the MoH in a hurry rather to crucify FDA and subject them to public ridicule for simply doing its work?

If some people feel they are tired and can no longer stand the pressure that comes with their office, they must step aside.

By this action, the FDA is being cowed to fold its arms whiles some of these Pharmaceutical giants flood the market with fake and unwholesome drugs, because if they dare move on them, they will rather be made the victims.

A report in the Daily Guide newspaper of Wednesday, October 16, captioned “FDA EXPOSED, Unregistered Drugs Flood Market”, is a story that was intended to discredit and malign FDA, but it also tells us that despite their effort a lot of work needs to be done, if only other institutions would also rise up to their mandate.

The FDA is not the only institution mandated to safeguard the health and safety of Ghanaians. People are used to the status quo, to the extent that if anybody tries to think outside the box, he or she is crucified.

We gloss over everything and anything and make it business as usual, but not with drugs that could compromise the health of the citizens.
This is criminal, inhuman, heartless, and ungodly, because lives are at stake here. The FDA must be allowed to do its work, if not we are all doomed.

Elected and appointed officials are expected to put the interest of the people above theirs. This attitude where anybody or institution that rises above mediocrity is seen as against the system and jeopardizing the interest of few greedy corrupt individuals must stop.

We believe the Ministry of Health has better things to do with our monies and their time than embarking on this unnecessary venture.
Tobinco has apologized, let them do the right thing and we can move on.

This collective antagonism, as if to suggest that FDA has also flouted some law in the discharge of its duties is only going to demoralize their effort.

Most State Institutions are sleeping, people are paid for doing nothing, those that are working we try to so hard to undermine them. What sort of people are we?

Must we all lazy about and turn round to blame the President, who cannot do it all that is why he appointed people.
This country is on a time bomb and could explode anytime, if this is how we wish to spend our time.

Government need money to execute projects, fulfill its electoral promises, it is only able to do that if Tobinco registers all the drugs they bring into the country. Government aside everything is losing revenue through their action, why applaud them?

How many substandard goods are in the market, nobody cares because that is what we all want? Why try when you can be called “too known”.

The action of the Ministry of Health is appalling, reprehensible and must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians as it selective and deeply buried in self-serving interest.

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