Ghana Medical Association calls for action against advertising unproven medicines

| Updated Aug 23, 2017 at 5:00pm



The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is worried over the rate at which some media houses are promoting unproven medicines and treatment of diseases without recourse to the Public Health Law.

Speaking at a news conference on Unregulated medicines and treatment of diseases, the President of GMA, DCOP Dr. E. Ewusi-Emmim, said the Association, "has noted with concern an escalation of advertisements on unproven treatment, prevention and cure remedies for very serious ailments that threaten the health and safety of Ghanaians and patients in gross breach or disregard for the laws of the Country".

According to him, a typical example of such misleading advertisements was published by one of the State Owned Newspapers, on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, where it was stated that a massage parlour is offering treatment for cancer of the breast, brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs, prostate among others.

This, he stated is a breach of the Public Health Act, 2012(Act 851).

Section 114 (1) of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) titled Prohibition of Advertisement states: " A person shall not advertise a drug, a herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance to the general public as a treatment, prevention or cure for disease, disorder or an abnormal physical state, unless the advertisement has been approved by the Authority ".

The same law has listed over 50 diseases for which advertisement for treatment, prevention or cure are prohibited. This includes kidney failure, kidney stone, mental disorder, human reproductive functions, AIDS, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases among others.

He said, some of these unregulated advertisements are motivated by profit and does not have the interest or the well-being of the Ghanaian at heart.

In this regard, the GMA has called on the Ministry of Health, Ghana Standards Authority, the Food and Drugs Authority, The Traditional Medicine Practice Council, Civil Society Organizations and other concerned bodies to ensure strict adherence to and enforcement of the laws regulating advertisements on medicines and treatment of ailments listed in the Public Health Act to protect the vulnerable.

They also called on the Police and the Attorney General's Department to arrest and prosecute offenders with immediate effect to curtail the practice.

"It is our firm belief that clamping down on these activities will save the lives of Ghanaians who fall victim on daily basis to these unproven and false claims by these unregulated advertisements", he added.

Story: Francis Edzorna Mensah