‘CPMR does not certify herbal drugs’

The public has been cautioned against claims by some herbalists that their products have been certified by Mampong Centre for Plant Medicine (CPMR) in the Eastern Region to treat all disease conditions.

According to Dr Alfred Appiah, the Deputy Executive Director of the Mampong Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) in the Eastern Region, the centre does not certify herbal drugs.

He explained that it only undertakes photochemical screening and anti-toxicity laboratory investigations to verify that the herbal drugs brought to its attention were not harmful and submit report to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

The Deputy Executive Director added that it was only the FDA that certifies such herbal drugs to be sold on the market, after undertaking visits to production points to ensure that they adhere to hygiene and safety standards.

Dr Appiah was responding to concerns raised by journalists on a visit to the centre on Friday over claims by herbalists who have inundated the public with all manner of herbal drugs for the treatment of many disease conditions.

The African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) of journalists paid a familiarisation tour of the centre on Friday to acquaint themselves with the work of the centre and to forge partnership with the centre to fight malaria.

Dr Appiah  said the centre has developed 30 herbal drugs for the treatment of different disease conditions including, malaria, diarrhea, diabetes, sickle cell, anaemia, prostrate cancer, to mention but a few.

He said the centre which was established in 1975 following the works of Dr Oku Ampofo on herbal drugs, has 18,000 Out Patient Department visits annually, explaining that the centre studied into herbal plants and add scientific knowledge and develop them for use.

Dr Appiah  said the centre over the past eight years had studied “URO 500” Herbal drug effective for the treatment of postate  enlargement in men by shrinking the abnormal size of the postrate  to the normal size.

He said the herbal drug was in use in some health institutions in the country adding that the centre was constrained by resources to upscale the research and use of the drug in all health institutions.

The Executive Director AMMREN, Dr Charity Binka said the network was ready to collaborate with the researchers at the centre to develop herbal drugs to help fight malaria in the country.

The CPMR has research unit, clinic, production facility and medicinal plant farms and conducts studies into herbal plant and adds scientific knowledge to authenticate the herbs for efficacy and safety for treatment of disease conditions.

From Salifu Abdul-Rahaman, Mampong

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