The vigilance of the Volta Regional Directorate of the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has yielded dividend as two suspects peddling repackaged orthodox medicine as herbal product for patronage by unsuspecting public have been busted.
They are Joyce Domie, 45, and James Nyakpo, 35, who were arrested at ‘information centre’ at Sokode, a suburb of Ho Municipality.
Mr Gorden Akurugu, Regional Director of FDA, briefing the Ghana News Agency said, the duo were picked up upon tip-off of peddling varieties of unregistered medicinal products.
He said the FDA enforcement team was consequently dispatched to the area to cause their arrest.
He said a number of unregistered drugs were seized from them, which contravenes section 118 of the Public Health Act, ACT 851, which stipulates that a person shall not manufacture, prepare, import, distribute, supply or exhibit for sale of a drug, herbal medicine product, cosmetic or any household chemical substances without approval from FDA.
Mr Akurugu said one of the drugs have been identified as Dexamethasone, which is a corticosteroid used in a wide range of health conditions for its anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressant properties and at the moment used in the management of COVID-19, strictly for patients on ventilators.
However, he said the suspects were selling this drug as pain-killers christened locally as “dompe dompe” to innocent customers.
The Regional Director said the drug could trigger serious health complications if consumed by the public without prescription by a medical officer, saying “this drug is given at certain conditions, which the peddlers lacked”.
Mr Akurugu stated that the Authority had stepped up its surveillance in the Region to reduce the surge in the activities of quacks peddling a number of unregistered food or medicinal products to the public.
He urged the public to be wiser and not fall to these recalcitrant members of the public.
The duo have been handed over to the Police for further investigations and subsequent prosecution.
Other unregistered medicines discovered by the team include Jae Mawu Herbal product, Paa Appiah capsules, Yesu Tease Manpower, Nana Appiah prostrate capsules, Paa Appiah Kooko capsules, Nana Amoakuwaa G Capsules, Blac Salt and oil and others.