The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) today in a press release signed by its acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mrs. Delese A. A. Darko, has cautioned the media to avoid flouting the provisions in the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 which guides the regulation and advertisement of products (food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemicals and tobacco) that fall under its jurisdiction. The release comes in the wake of unbridled promotion of medicines and medical treatments on the radio and TV mainly.
The regulatory authority quoted sections of the Act 851 as follows:
1) A person shall not advertise a food as a preventive or cure for a disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state [Section 100 (1)]
2) A person shall not advertise food unless the advertisement has been approved by the Authority [Section 100 (2)]
The regulatory body, charged to protect the health and safety of consumers of these products further quoted section 114 (1) and (2) of the Act 851:
1) A person shall not advertise a drug, an herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device, or household chemical substance to the general public as a treatment, preventive or cure for a disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state, unless the advertisement has been approved by the Authority
2) Despite subsection (1), a person shall not advertise a drug, an herbal medicinal product, medical device or cosmetic for the treatment or cure for diseases specified in the Fifth Schedule of the Act. [see below]
The FDA added that Live Presenter Mentions (LPM) in any form were not permitted as a form of advertisement for “Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, Household Chemicals and Medical Devices.”
It further charged media houses not to air any advertisements on any of these products until they have had proof of the following from companies:
· A letter showing that the product has been duly registered by the FDA and that the registration has not expired.
· A letter from the FDA together with sealed, vetted and approved script showing that the advertisement has been duly approved by the FDA and that the approval has not expired.
According to the regulatory authority, persons who contravene the laws should prepare for either a “summary conviction and/or a fine not less than 7500 Penalty Units” or pay administrative fines between GHS 25,000.00 and GHS 50,000 as per LI 2228 (2016).
The FDA also in the release encouraged the general public to provide information on activities that were likely to compromise public health and safety with respect to the body’s mandate to the following numbers: HOTLINES: 0299802932, 0299802933; TOLL FREE NUMBER – 0800151000 (Vodafone and Airtel free); SMS SHORTCODE: 4015.