Tramadol abuse: 48 shops in Sunyani to face sanctions

BY: Biiya Mukusah Ali

The Brong Ahafo Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has seized more than 1,200 capsules and 280 tablets of Tramadol tablets from 48 chemical and pharmacy shops. 

The tramadol used to treat moderate to severe pain, was seized because the chemical shops where they were found are not permitted to sell them.

Those found in the pharmacy shops were also in higher dosages of 120mg and 220mg which have not been registered by the FDA to be dispensed in Ghana.

The chemical shops [over the counter] are not permitted by law to sell Tramadol while Pharmacies that are authorised are to dispense strictly on a doctor’s prescription.

The FDA has registered only the 50mg and 100mg of the Tramadol tablets but during a market surveillance, it was found out that as high as 120mg and 225mg were on the shelves of some of the chemical and pharmacy shops.

In all a total of 26 pharmacy shops and 22 chemical shops were inspected during the two-day exercise organised by the FDA in seven communities, namely Sunyani, Abesim, Fiapre, Kotokrom, Odomase, Dormaa Akwamu and Asuotiano.

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Head of the FDA, Mr Matthew Gyan Nkum told Graphic Online that out of the 26 chemical shops inspected, only one chemical shop at Abesim near Sunyani was not selling tramadol.

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He said the FDA would refer the defaulters to the police for further action.

Mr Nkum observed that some individuals and shop owners were selling the tramadol in their homes in a bid to outwit the FDA and other law enforcement agencies.

He said at Odomase in the Sunyani West District for instance, whilst FDA officials were still in a shop, a customer walked in with a sample box of tramadol and presented it to the shopkeeper, asking to buy the same type.