The Pharmacy Council and the police have closed down an over-the-counter pharmaceuticals facility for selling Tramadol, a “prescription-only” painkiller, without a prescription to an alleged drug user.
The owner of the facility, which is located in Mamprobi Agege in the Greater Accra Region, and her staff are scheduled to appear before the council’s disciplinary committee, where they will be required to explain to the council why they were dispensing a prescription-only medicine without the necessary authorization.
According to Section 108 (1) of the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act (Act 857), “an inspector may close premises that sell or supply restricted medicines if there are grounds to believe that a health hazard exists on the premises or the premises is unlicensed.”
Dr Daniel Amaning Danquah, the Pharmacy Council’s deputy registrar in charge of operations, told journalists in Accra on July 24th, 2023, that some drugs had been labeled as “prescription-only” due to the complications associated with abuse and improper handling, making it illegal to dispense such drugs over the counter to protect public health.
He stated that such medication could only be provided by doctors and that the prescription should be the only basis for delivering such drugs.
“When Tramadol is combined with other substances, it can cause liver disease, renal dysfunction, or respiratory dysfunction.”
“Additionally, when combined with alcohol, Tramadol can significantly lower brain activity, resulting in loss of consciousness, [as well as] increase depression, brain damage, and even suicidal tendencies,” he explained.
Reminder and specificsThe Pharmacy Council’s stern action against unlawful Tramadol distributing, according to Dr. Amaning Danquah, served as an important reminder of the possible dangers connected with inappropriate handling, distribution, and use of prescription-only medicine.
It emphasizes the need of following regulatory requirements in order to protect public health and prevent the abuse of such pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceutical service providers are therefore warned to desist from dispensing ‘prescription-only’ medicines without valid prescriptions.
Providing details about what happened, the two policemen saw an alleged drug addict adding a substance to his drink, which was later identified as Tramadol.
He said upon further questioning by the policemen, the individual admitted to lacing his drink with Tramadol, and revealed that he had obtained the drug from an OTCMs shop.
“Acting promptly, the officers confronted the facility owner who displayed a defiant and uncooperative attitude during the interrogation.
“Consequently, a formal report was lodged with the Pharmacy Council leading to swift enforcement measures being taken,” he said.