Watch out for counterfeit chloroquine on the market-FDA warns

Story by Carlos Afanou

The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has raised red flags about the Ghanaian and other markets being flooded with counterfeit chloroquine, the approved drug for treating COVID-19.

The food and drug regulator’s alert is informed by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Surveillance and Monitoring System, which picked notifications that fake chloroquine products were circulating in Africa.

“These chloroquine products with different presentations are confirmed as falsified on the basis that they deliberately [and] fraudulently misrepresent their composition or source,” the FDA said in a statement signed and issued by its Chief Executive, Delese A.A. Darko, said.

It noted that such products did not contain the correct amount of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, based on the result of preliminary or full laboratory analysis.

Another deficit for such products is that they are either not produced by the manufacturer whose name is stated on the product labels, or the batch number and date do not correspond to genuine manufacturing records.

Additionally, the manufacturer, whose name is stated on the product, does not exist.

The Minister of Health in April approved chloroquine as a drug for the treatment of COVID-19, following the footsteps of the United States.

Although the drug was banned in Ghana in 2010 because of its lack of efficacy for the treatment of malaria, the minister said it was effective against COVID-19.

However, the World Health Organisation warned against its abuse, as it could cause serious side effect, especially at high doses or when combined with other medications.

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