FDA urges public not to patronise street drug retailers

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public to desist from buying medicines from street drug retailers.

In an exclusive interview with Head of Communication of FDA, Mrs Rhoda Appiah, she said the medicines were substandard, not approved and could pose health risk to consumers.

Drug peddling is becoming a common phenomenon in the country with people dispensing medicines on the streets.

“The health risk of purchasing medicines from these itinerant drug retailers is very high and can worsen an individual’s health, “she said.

Mrs Appiah explained that medicines sold on the street and in rubber bags were substandard and not genuine.

“Substandard medicines are medicines  that do not have up to the right quantity of active ingredient in them while fake medicines do not have any of the active ingredients that are supposed to be in them at all per pharmacopoeia standards,” said Mrs Appiah.

She indicated that handling medicines poorly and exposing them to the sun could compromise their quality and efficacy.

“Medicines sold on the streets are kept in rubber bags and are also exposed to direct sunlight. The high temperature causes the medicines to break, melt and the syrups become very warm and thus make it unsafe for consumption,” she said.

 “That is why even when you come to those who sell in pharmacies there are clear guidelines and rules about storage of medicines. 

Some of these medicines are supposed to be under a very clear regulated temperature, so the moment we break the rule on storage we get the quality of it compromised,” she added.

“So we advise that consumers should buy pharmaceutical products from approved sources like pharmacies and licensed chemical shops. If you want to buy online, the Pharmaceutical Council is coming up with an electronic pharmacy system that one is one total you can be able to have a lot of assurance and comfort that you will be getting the right ones,” Mrs Appiah, disclosed.

“Again when you are buying medicines, take note of the badge number, take note of the expiring date, the manufacturer details, read the inscriptions on it or even in the insert.

Asked what the FDA was doing to curb the illegal peddling of medicines on the street, the Head of Communications, said her outfit was intensifying public education to prevent people from buying medicines on the street.

She said the FDA was collaborating with the Police to embark on swoops to arrest those engaged in selling drugs on the street.


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