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Substandard Chinese medicines hit Ghanaian market

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drugsThe Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Thursday  cautioned  the public  particularly importers, wholesalers, retailers, hospitals, and other health facilities against patronizing medicines manufactured by and imported from Yikang Pharmaceutical Company limited and Nantong Jinghua pharm.co limited,  both of China, since some of their medicines have been found to be substandard.

The importer of those substandard medicines, Lymens Medical Supply, a Ghanaian company located at Kokomlemle in Accra, managed to bring the substandard medicines into the country without registering them with the Food and Drugs Authority, as required by law.

A statement issued by the FDA  and copied to the GNA said the Authority, in collaboration with the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), sampled uterotonics from various hospitals, clinics, pharmacies maternity homes and other health facilities throughout the country for testing to assess their efficacy revealed that the  drugs were substandard.

Uterotonics (oxytocin and ergometrine injections) are medicines used to induce labour or control bleeding from the uterus after child delivery, while, benzyl penicillin  injection (an antibiotic) which was manufactured and imported from Yikang Pharmaceutical Company was also found to be substandard, implying that anyone given this antibiotic for treatment of infection will develop complications.

“The fake and substandard oxytocin when given to women after child delivery will fail to control bleeding from the uterus and can result in death. This will eventually lead to increased maternal mortality rate and therefore make it difficult for us as a nation to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (No. 5) which is about reducing maternal mortality and improving maternal health” it said.

The Authority said it would not allow any medicine manufactured by these two companies to be imported to Ghana until Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections are conducted on the companies by the FDA and their facilities are found to be of good standard for the manufacturing of safe and quality medicines.

Lymens Medical Supplies, the importer of the substandard medicines is assisting the FDA in further investigations.

Facilities and individuals having stocks of Oxytocin, Benzyl penicillin and any other medicine   manufactured by Yikang Pharmaceutical Company limited and Nantong Jinghua Pharm.co Llimited are therefore directed to handover their stocks to the nearest office of the FDA for safe disposal.

Additionally, information from the general public on persons in any practice of endangering public health and safety with respect to FDA’s mandate is most welcomed through any of the following contact numbers; 0244337235, 0246809509 or 0544863418, the statement added.

Source: GNA

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