North: FDA holds workshop to protect potency of pharmaceutical products

Mr. Kofi Essel talking to Participants
Mr. Kofi Essel talking to Participants

The Northern Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organized a One (1) Day workshop for Wholesalers and Distributors of Pharmaceutical Products in the Northern Region under the theme “Protecting Product Integrity throughout the Pharmaceutical Distribution Chain”.

The workshop was occasioned by reports on routine Good Distribution Practices (GDP) audits carried out by the officials of the Authority in the Region, which indicate gross disregard to storage conditions of pharmaceutical products in transit and in warehouses.

In his opening address, Mr. Ebenezer Kofi Essel, the Acting Regional Head of the FDA reiterated the need for the industry to uphold good practices that will promote the quality and efficacy of pharmaceutical products distributed and sold in the region.

He also entreated the participants to engage the FDA in addressing all issues of regulatory concerns so that as stakeholders the health and safety of the consuming public can be assured.

Group photograph of FDA Officials and Participants
Group photograph of FDA Officials and Participants

According to Mr. Essel, pharmaceutical products could easily lose their potency or efficacy during transit or storage in warehouses if suitable conditions are not provided.

“The industry runs the risk of huge financial loses if products are lost as a result of bad handling practices but the greater risk, which presents public health threat, is when these unwholesome pharmaceutical products are sold to unsuspecting consumers. The health conditions of patients are aggravated further when such products are used without the expected results, which could also be life threatening,” he added.

To overcome these challenges, handlers of pharmaceutical products in the distribution chain must possess the requisite knowledge and skillsto safeguard public health and safety, Mr. Essel said.

Mr. Onasis Mensah, a Regulatory Officer of the Authority, who was also the main resource person for the training bemoaned the practice where distributors become the conduits for the distribution and sale of expired, substandard, spurious and counterfeit pharmaceutical products.

A session of the workshop was therefore dedicated to techniques which will allow for the identification of fake, spurious and counterfeitpharmaceutical products. He also advised the distributors to ensure that they acquire their supplies from traceable sources only and also adhere to sound record keeping and documentation.

Mr. Onasis Mensah (Resource Person) interacting with the Participants

Thirty Nine (39) participants from Twenty Five (25) Pharmaceutical Wholesale and Distribution outlets in the Northern Region attended the training workshop which took place at the Majisi Court Hotel in Tamale.

Other topics treated at the workshop included: Good Storage Practices; Integrated Pest Management; Cleaning and Sanitation; Handlingof Waste Pharmaceutical Products and their Safe Disposal; Record Keeping and Documentation.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Essel said the protection of public health and safety is a shared responsibility and therefore the FDA will ensure that such workshops become a regular feature on its work programme for the Northern Region. He subsequently called on the industry to collaborate with the FDA in its quest to achieve the goals of its mandate and also improve on the health delivery system in the Northern Region. A call was further made on the participants to apply the knowledge and skills acquired at the workshop in their operations at their respective work places.

Source: | Ghana

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