The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned media houses in the country to demand FDA certifications from advertisers especially those who deal in herbal products before airing them.
This follows a directive from the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu to the FDA to approve all advertisements before they are aired.
Some doctors have often expressed worry about the influx of herbal concoctions on the market which they say increase the risks of some diseases.
But in an interview with, Head of Communications for the FDA, James Lartey said the media is to blame for the situation.
“I think that all of us know, we can see a herbal advertisement making some claims and right from the beginning of the advert you would know that there is no way FDA would approve such an advert, yet it goes to the media station and they go and air it without crosschecking from the FDA whether it has been approved or not. I would say to some extent, I put the blame on the media. I don’t think any advertiser can walk into a media station and slot his/her advertisement into their medium unless you give approval,” he said.
On Friday, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu charged the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to examine all advertisements, especially those on herbal medicines, to be sure they are approved by the Authority.
“It is worrying that almost every radio or TV station air advertisements on herbal medicines and I wonder whether those adverts have been approved by the FDA in view of the claims that are made within those adverts.”
“Let us remember that advertisements are very influential and have the potential of affecting listeners positively or negatively. Therefore, a misleading advertisement can have serious repercussions,” the Health Minister said in a speech read on his behalf during the unveiling of the new FDA logo in Accra on Tuesday.
Mr Agyeman Manu said the FDA should liaise with relevant institutions like the Advertising Association of Ghana, the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Independent Broadcasting Association, the BNI, the Police and other relevant institutions, to deal with the advertisements on herbal medicine.
He also called on the Authority to ensure effective post-market surveillance to ensure that products on the market were safe, efficacious and of good quality.