Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, has instructed the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to suspend the registration, importation and manufacturing of codeine-containing cough syrups with immediate effect.
The Health Minister explained that all dose strengths of codeine registered by the FDA, shall hence be reclassified as controlled drugs, meaning it shall be under “lock and key” and their distribution and use in Ghana treated as “prescription only medicines”.
Further to these instructions, he urged the FDA and Pharmacy Council to also enforce the requirements for the distribution of Tramadol and Tramadol-containing products as “prescription only medicines and controlled drugs.”
Mr Agyeman-Manu issued the instructions at the launch of the third edition of the National Medicines Policy and Five-year Implementation Plan for Ghana at a ceremony in Accra on Friday.
He indicated that the directives were part of regulatory measures of the new Policy being launched to halt the abuse of these medicines which was becoming a real challenge for the youth.
He, however, stated that a full statement on these instructions would be released shortly as the Ministry of Health takes steps to work with the Office of the Attorney General for the appropriate executive instrument to be issued on these actions.
The Health Minister explained that the steps being taken were not only to protect public health, but to further assure Ghanaians of the provision of quality services, and therefore called for maximum stakeholder support towards the implementation of the directives.