Ghana's FDA warns of fake antimalarial pills

Fake antimalarialGhana has warned of yet another case involving counterfeit malaria drugs, this time highlighting a 300mg quinine sulphate product that on testing had no active ingredient.

The medicine - ostensibly manufactured by Biochemie GmbH of Austria and imported into Ghana by St Kem Pharmaceuticals - carries the batch number 33587Q and an expiry date of May 2015.

The country's Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it has seized a total of 64 plastic tubs - each containing 1,000 white tablets - at a hospital in the Brong Ahafo region and at St Kem Pharma's premises. The supplier "has been invited by the security agencies to assist in investigations," said the agency.

"Hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and other facilities having stocks of the fake/counterfeit quinine tablets … should as a matter of urgency hand them over to the nearest FDA office countrywide," added the FDA in a statement.

The latest announcement comes after the FDA accused Indian drugmaker Bliss GVS Pharma and local distributor Tobinco Pharma of distributing counterfeit Gsunate (artesunate) antimalarial drugs and placed the two firms on a blacklist.

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