SOME Kumasi residents have called on the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to take concrete steps to rid the market of suspected fake drugs.
They said the FDB's own admission that fake drugs had flooded the market in Kumasi posed a serious threat to human lives, hence the need for an action by the authorities to correct the wrongs to save precious lives.
The call followed interviews the Daily Graphic had with some residents, after two people had called at the paper's offices in Kumasi to complain about a drug they bought from a pharmacy shop which had no FDB certification number.
The drug, called Piroxicam Capsules USP 20mg, with the brand name Abycam, has on its package XL Laboratories Pvt. Ltd of India as producers. Piroxicam capsules are meant for the treatment of arthritis.
On July 14, 2007, the FDB Zonal Officer for Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, Mr Joseph Bennie, was quoted in an Accra daily as warning that fake drugs had flooded the market in Kumasi and asked the public to be wary of drugs that were not certified by the board.
One of the aggrieved persons, who gave his name as Kwame Osei Asare, said he bought 10 packets of the drug at the Oson's Chemist Limited in Kumasi on February 4, 2009 and realised that there was no FDB certification number embossed on them.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the FDB Boss, Mr Agyarko, on phone from Accra to ascertain the authenticity of the allegation that the drug was not registered, he directed this reporter to Mr Bennie, the zonal officer in Kumasi.
Mr Bennie stated that from FDB records, Piroxicam capsules was registered with the board. He was, however, not ready to disclose the registered number of the drug
On why there was no FDB number on the drug, the zonal officer explained that it was not on every drug that the board had its number.
According to him, it was not very important to put the FDB certification number on every imported drug because the market in Ghana was not large enough, He stated that the sale of fake drugs was usually associated with locally made drugs.