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FDA Investigates the Use of Oxytocin in Ghana

Through the passing of years, the continent of Africa is one of the most frequented by drug smugglers. Not only are the less developed countries in the region were the ones mostly visited. Urbanized ones have been the venue for transaction. From these places, it gets easier for fraudsters to transfer their counterfeited drugs to other less secure regions.

The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against the proliferation of counterfeit medicines, has reported new methods on the widespread of Oxytocin in Ghana, according to a tip by an anonymous informant. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has decided to further investigate on the matter and found out several big companies for fraudulently importing fake products in the country.


According to a report review, FDA claims the “dangerous drugs” have already found their way into hospitals and pharmacy shops.

Some women have apparently been administered with two such drugs, Oxytocin and Ergometrine, which are injected to control bleeding after delivery.


The contaminated Oxytocin reportedly was manufactured in China by companies with fake addresses.

In the case of Ergometrine, the FDA said their investigations showed that it was imported from Jakarta, Indonesia and contained no active pharmaceutical ingredients.


Critics, on the other hand, blame the laxity of FDA security in order to prevent the proliferation of the counterfeited drugs earlier. If not for NGOs and local units who are actively gathering more information, FDA, which has the main function to take down counterfeiting, would have never found out about the new methods. The authority does not have any idea on how the medicines are distributed in the country and on how it has been circulating between legitimate pharmacies.

Statistics show that on the Ghanaian market between August and September 2012. A total of 303 samples— 185 Oxytocin injection, 103 Ergometrine injection, and 15 Ergometrine tablets—were sampled from both public and private hospitals, clinics, medical stores, pharmaceutical outlets, and the informal sector across the ten regions of Ghana


In addition, the storage conditions recommended by the manufacturers of more than 50% of both the Oxytocin and Ergometrine injections were not consistent with recommendations in the official compendia. This indicates a lack of awareness of the appropriate storage conditions for these uterotonic products. The pharmacies involved also face complaints from critics. FDA, on the other hand, has promised to undergo proper implementation of jurisdiction if the companies are found to be involved in the distribution.

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