More Than Half Of Manufacturers/Importers Of Pharmaceuticals In Ghana Are Fearful Of The FDA

One would have thought that the relationship that exists between a regulator such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), manufacturers and importers of Pharmaceutical products would be a mutual and professional one, as they both strive to provide efficacious medicines to the public. However, after seeking the views of sixty-eight manufacturers, importers and distributors of medicines, Franklin Cudjoe of IMANI Ghana says that there is a deep-seated fear in the Ghanaian pharmaceutical industry of the regulator. According to the Executive Director of the think tank group, there are modern ways of ensuring that drugs that are manufactured or imported still maintain its effectiveness until it reaches the consumer, but the FDA has chosen to adopt an old and ineffective monitoring system instead. What is more disturbing, he told NEAT FM�s Adakabre Frimpong-Manso, is the fact that stake holders in the industry are unable to suggest these new trends to the regulatory body because of the posture it has adopted over the past five years. ��out of the sixty-eight people we spoke to, manufacturers, importers, and they spoke with us candidly. They can�t say so to the regulator which apparently regulates them. They are afraid of the guy. They are afraid of the FDA, which is sad. You know what they told us? 95% of them said that in the last five years, anytime they have submitted medicines they are importing for just registration in this country, sometimes it takes close to one and a half years before they get the permit�. �They can�t even know where the evaluations of medicines have reached. Sometimes they have to go and beg. I mean, why do you run a regulatory system like this? You have no system of checking on their (FDA) website that this medicine has gone through first stage, second stage and at this stage you would get results, nothing. So you import medicine today and it would take next December before they finish it� he asserted. Mr. Franklin Cudjoe further described the attempt to use certain sections of the media to run down particular pharmaceutical companies by the FDA, is a sign of a �failing regulator�. �A regulator who does that is not a regulator. He is a killer,� he opined. He was speaking during a telephone interview to further throw more light on claims that many people are dying in the country as a result of regulation failure and not fake drugs.