The Government of Ghana has been urged to request the Minister of Justice and Attorney General to fully support the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to complete the establishment of a legal department with its own trained prosecutors to ensure speedy prosecution of offences under the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT851).
This call was made by the Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA) in a statement issued by its vice president, Dr George Amofah, after a recent workshop on ‘The Menace of Use of Aphrodisiacs in Ghana’.
According to the group, if the FDA is able to complete the legal department with its own trained prosecutors, it will curtail the promotion of some fake drugs, especially those that are promoted as aphrodisiacs, on the Ghanaian market.
In addition to the establishment of the legal department within the FDA, the GPHA has also appealed to the Chief Justice to dedicate one Fast Track High Court to try offences under the Public Health Act, 2012 (ACT 851) to ensure the speedy trial of offences.
The group has noted with deep concerns how a number of products that are fake, unregistered, of unknown sources, or adulterated with dangerous ingredients on the Ghanaian market are being promoted as aphrodisiacs or even for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, further noting that a number of people are pressurised by false marketing strategies, especially through FM stations, to use and depend on fake and dangerous drugs and chemicals with the intent of enhancing their sexual prowess without due cognisance of the health implications. The marital tensions that may arise due to false claims and innuendos by over-zealous commentators in the media cannot be discounted.
It is in this regard that they have called on the government to support the FDA with both material and human resources to strengthen its post-marketing surveillance unit to facilitate the tracking and arrest of all those who may wish to market Substandard, Spurious, Falsely labelled, Falsified and Counterfeit (SSFFC) medicinal products to guarantee public health safety.
The FDA itself, according to the group must also take measures to guard especially against false advertising and promotion across all sectors and products – herbs, alcoholic beverages, and drugs.