As the abuse of Tramadol continues to rise in Ghana, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is joining forces with a number of sector agencies to curb the illegal distribution and sale of the drug.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, her outfit is partnering with the Pharmacy Council to boost their surveillance.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Mrs Darko said a joint task force will be formed in coming days to champion that agenda.“We are collaborating with the Pharmacy council because they are responsible for the practice of pharmacy and also with the health facilities regulatory agency which also registers pharmacies and chemicals and licensed medicines sellers. We are forming a task team in the next few days. They are doing what they are doing but we think that we should actually come together and move out wider within the regions.”
The FDA CEO said the task force will, among other things, visit possible places that Tramadol is sold, adding that the team will also “visit chemical shops because they [chemical shops] would be obtaining some [of the product] legally, some as well may be obtained at places that we are not aware of.”
Tramadol is a pain relief drug, which according to medical experts, functions like heroin and can cause psychotic problems as well as damage vital organs in the human body if abused.
Recent surveys have shown that the drug is being abused by some youths as well as some market women, drivers and in some cases students.
The Head of Substance Abuse at FDA, Olivia Boateng said on the Citi Breakfast Show last week that FDA is intensifying its surveillance to curb the smuggling of Tramadol in the country.
According to the FDA, its investigation shows that most of the drug comes into the country through unapproved routes making it difficult for them to track its final destination.
“Our investigations revealed that there are people, who were sourcing it from unapproved routes, not from the pharmacy and hospitals. We have intensified monitoring at the ports of entry, trying to curb it through the unauthorized routes,” Olivia Boateng added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana