Source: Pluzz FM
The Ministry of Health has disclosed that the Food and Drugs Authority’s closure of some pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies in the country is illegal. According to the Ministry, the only body with the legal right to close a pharmacy or a pharmaceutical company on suspicion of selling and distribution of substandard drugs is the Minister of health.
Speaking on PLUZZ 89.9 FM’s flagship breakfast programme “Pluzz Today” hosted by Kwame Tutu, the Public Relations officer for the Ministry of Health, Tony Goodman, disclosed that the Minister of Health could take action to close any pharmacy or pharmaceutical company after officially briefing the President of the Republic.
Tony Goodman buttressed his statement by quoting article 116 of the public health Act. He was communicating the Ministry’s position on the current brouhaha between the Food and Drugs Authority and Tobinco Pharmacy, which now seem to have turned into a media war.
Asked if the Foods and drugs Authority has formally petitioned the supervising agency (Ministry of Health) of their suspicion of Tobinco distributing over 100 pharmaceutical products deemed to be sub-standard or fake, Tony Goodman rhetorically asked if the Foods and Drugs Authority is bigger than the Ministry of Health.
He further assessed that if officials of the Foods and Drugs Authority had done their work diligently at the ports, no substandard drug could have entered the country.
He said the Ministry of Health has taken notice of the “war” between FDA and will soon respond to all the issues appropriately.
In a related development, the Foods and Drugs Authority has insisted that it has every power under the law to close any pharmacy or pharmaceutical company that sells or distributes unwholesome pharmaceutical products to Ghanaians.
Quoting the same public Health Act, Article 119 subsection 1 and 2, James Lartey, the public Relations officer for the FDA said the authority can take such actions as spelt in the statutes without taking permission from anybody. He therefore called for the judiciary to interpret the Public Health Act to the understanding of all Ghanaians.
Touching on the work of the FDA at the Ports, James Lartey said people can add (smuggle) unwholesome products into those that are duly registered hence making it difficult for everything to be detected at the Port.