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‘We are sorry for importing fake drugs’ – Tobinco Pharmacy

After days of fierce denials and open challenge to the Food and Drugs Authority, local pharmaceutical giant, Tobinco Pharmacy has finally admitted importing fake antimalarial drugs for children into the country.
The company earlier insisted that it had not breached any provisions of the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851, on fake (counterfeit) products, but in two separate undertakings (one from Tobinco and the other from the Indian manufacturer) dated September 26, 2013, and intercepted by the Daily Express, Tobinco Pharmaceuticals and Bliss GVS Pharma India, admitted importing fake drugs into the country and subsequently apologised to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for the violations.
In the two letters titled “Undertaking” and published in this paper, both Bliss GVS Pharma, India and Tobinco Pharmaceuticals have pledged never to trade in any unregistered and/or unlicensed medicines and other medical products. “I Mr, Samuel Amo Tobbin , the Executive Chairman of Tobinco Pharmaceutical Limited on this day Thursday September 26 2013 , solemnly undertake never to import any unregistered and /or unlicensed medicines and other medical products into Ghana”, he said.
“I sincerely apologise for bringing in fake anti-malarial drug (Gsunate Plus) for children into Ghana”, Mr Amo Tobbin stated in the letter to the FDA. The Daily Express has however noted the sharp contrast between the content of this letter, and the company’s earlier stance in a Press Release this week in which it strongly argued that: “Our drugs that were and are being destroyed by the FDA are not fake drugs”.
 In denying the report that the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has ordered a recall of the ‘questionable’ 100 different types of drugs in which the FDA said their Efficacy, Safety and Quality could not be guaranteed, Tobinco said at the time that the company has always imported quality pharmaceutical products, insisting that what has led to the recent state of affairs as regards the registration of products with the Food and Drugs Authority was a misjudgement and delayed action on their part, and had nothing to do with the integrity of the products.
On his part, the Director of Bliss GVS Pharmaceuticals, S. N. Kamath also said: “I undertake only to export and/or trade in medicines and other medical products that have been registered by the Food and Drugs Authority and other relevant regulatory authorities. I sincerely apologise for exporting a fake anti-malarial drug (Gsunate Plus) for children into Ghana.”
The FDA, somewhere last week said its post market surveillance exercises conducted revealed that Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited had imported and distributed fake and unregistered medicines onto the Ghanaian market. The said drugs, the Chief Executive of the FDA, Dr Stephen Opuni said posed a serious threat to public health and safety.
Meanwhile, Isaac Obed Brown, the Financial Controller of Tobinco has told an Accra-based Radio XYZ in an interview on Wednesday that over six-hundred (600) employees of the company have been laid off indefinitely following the development which has affected the company’s business. Published here and on the frontpage are scanned copies of the letters of applology written by the Executive Chairman of Tobinco Pharmaceutical Limited and Mr. S. N. Kamath, the Director of Bliss GVS Pharma (manufacturer of the fake drugs).
By: Attah-Effah Badu


  1. f such an issue existing in the medical field of the country, the relevant authority must find a permanent remedy not something temporary.


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