X-Pharm: Come out with findings

X-Pharm Consult, a health advocacy group in Kumasi, has called on the Ministry of Health to come out with its findings on the alleged swapping of drugs meant for the three northern regions of the country with fake ones. It said even though the group appreciated the Ministry’s efforts at curbing the influx, distribution and sale of fake drugs, the long delay in making public the findings of its investigations has not been helpful to assuaging the anxiety of people in the affected regions. Dr Benjamin Kumbour, Deputy Minister of Health, is reported to have told Joy FM, an Accra-based radio station on July 3, that, they were probing claims that “a cartel is replacing drugs meant for the three northern regions with fake and expired ones at the Ministry’s depot in Kumasi and Techiman.” Mr Kwame Peprah Boaitey, Executive Secretary of the group, in a signed statement in Kumasi on Tuesday said this has generated panic among the people. X-Pharm said the demand for publication of the probe findings has become necessary due to the high prevalence of counterfeit drugs in the country. “This has become a major issue of concern and it appears that these influxes have not been opposed by close collaboration between drug companies, government and international organizations concerned with health.” “We are of the view that, the unwillingness of government and stakeholders in the health industry to publicize the problem of fake drugs to health staff and the general public, apparently motivated by the belief that publicity will harm the sales of some products in this fiercely contested business environment will eventually, completely erode public confidence in pharmaceutical services in this country,” the group added. It therefore, called on the Ministry to ensure that those behind the fake drugs deal were punished to serve as deterrent and to also restore public confidence in pharmaceutical services. X-Pharm, which is committed to helping to raise the standard of pharmaceutical services in the country, would shun all manner of people who exhibited traits of mischief.