The National Diabetes Association-Ghana (NDAG) has raised the alarm over the sale of some diabetes medications online, putting the lives of patients at risk.
According to it, specific ones gaining ground on social media platforms; “Insumed” and “Dianol,” and said to control blood sugar levels, allegedly caused severe complications among unsuspecting victims.
President of the NDAG, Mrs Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, has, thus, cautioned diabetic patients and the general public against purchasing the drugs, entreating relevant stakeholders to immediately step in to address the ‘threat’ and save lives.
Addressing a news conference yesterday, Mrs Denyoh raised suspicion over how the ‘fake’ drugs got into the Ghanaian market when there were institutions with the mandate to protect public health and safety on consumables.
“We, together with the police and some Food and Drugs Authority(FDA) officials, arrested four of the perpetrators last year and they led us to a hide-out at Ashaley Botwe, 5 Paterson Avenue (GCD 022 0146) where they sold lots of other medications to cure other diseases.
Our independent investigations traced the source of the products to an address belonging to a real estate agency in Bulgaria, SPB Realty, but it is not even a drug manufacturing company,” she said.
Mrs Denyoh explained the modus operandi of the culprits as advertising the products on social media platforms such as “Facebook” using recommendations of distinguished personalities (some Ghanaians) who have benefitted from using the drugs to lure victims.
She said contacts advertised to an attached link for buying the drugs led customers to the NDAG’s website suggesting that the Association endorsed the medications.
“The Association disassociates itself from the above medications. We have nothing to do with its importation and sale in Ghana and cannot guarantee its efficacy as the information on the product package was even suspicious and not in English but Bulgarian,” she noted.
The president, in expressing fear of further consequences on patients and the public if the matter was not addressed immediately, called on stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and Pharmacy Council to regulate the sale of medications on social media.
“They need to expedite action on the prosecution of the perpetrators and assist in the education of the public that diabetes is not curable, but can only be controlled,” she urged.
Furthermore, Mrs Denyo implored the public to desist from buying diabetes and hypertensive medication online, asking “all who have bought these medications to contact the nearest hospital.”
“Diabetics should continue taking their prescribed medications, eat well, exercise, drink lots of water and check their sugars regularly,” she advised.