In an interview in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, asked importers and manufacturers to desist from importing or manufacturing poor quality products, but to “import what you believe you would be happy for your child to use.’’
Mrs Darko said from now on, importers and manufacturers would be held responsible for any such goods on the market, stressing that “the importers and manufacturers need to be told the importance of taking responsibility for the quality and safety of what they put on the market.’’
“So, if I decide to put this product on the market, I should know that I am fully responsible for the product from the time it enters the market until the time it is finished,” she said.
Articulating some of the efforts the FDA would be making under her leadership, Mrs Darko stated that even though it was the legal mandate of the FDA to protect public health and safety with respect to products,“ the person putting the product on the market should take responsibility for it; and we are not fully there at the moment.
“So, people will put products on the market and that is it. What I want to change is to draw the manufacturer or importers’ attention to their role in ensuring that their products continue to remain of the right quality throughout its shelf life. ” she added.
Mrs Darko gave the assurance that the FDA would assist manufacturers and importers in this regard, but added that if stakeholders were proud to put a product on the market, whether it was locally manufactured or imported, it would reduce the dangers that such products posed to consumers.
She said a system had already been put in place in the area of medicine safety. “We tell the person who takes a medicine to report any adverse effect that they experience. A qualified person for medicine safety is expected to be in place in every company we hold responsible to ensure that this system works,” she said.
Mrs Darko explained that distributors, wholesalers or retailers should make sure that whatever product was brought to them was stored properly in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification.
She said it was the responsibility of the importer to see to it that there were people monitoring on the ground to ensure that what was given to the consumer was of the right quality.
“This same system is being put in place for manufacturers of local products, and the FDA will also ensure that the appropriate capacity-building opportunities will be given to them.