GA-FDD warns against repackaging medications

The Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) seeks to ensure that all drugs and pharmaceuticals distributed and used in both the private and public healthcare systems are safe, efficacious, of the requisite quality and are distributed in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulation of 1971.

Director of GA-FDD
Dr Marlan Cole

The Department has sought over the years to address the compliance of proprietors and pharmacists in relation to the trade, supply and sale of unregistered, improperly labelled (foreign language), improperly packaged and expired drugs and pharmaceuticals.
The Government Analyst Food and Drug Department has advised all importers/distributors, pharmacies and patent shops that all pharmaceuticals should be properly sealed in bottles/tubes and packages and must carry a patient information leaflet/package insert translated in English.
The department said that it continues to observe instances where medications are repackaged in Ziploc bags, envelopes and plastic cups displayed in cabinets for sale. This poor storage, the GA-FDD said, results in medicines being exposed to unsuitable storage conditions which may lead to deterioration, disintegration and ultimately loss of potency and incorrect expiration dates.

Some of the repackaged medications

Proprietors were advised to ensure that all pharmaceuticals are not repackaged in Ziploc bags or envelopes prior to customer’s purchase and collection via prescription; neither should they be kept in storage conditions of between 28 and 32 degrees celsius.
Failure to comply, the GA-FDD said, will result in enforcement actions by the department. According to the Food and Drug Act of 1971 Regulation 21(d): An inspector may at a reasonable time – seize and detain for so long as may be necessary for the purpose of any examination, investigation, trial or inquiry, any article by means of or in relation to which he reasonably believes any provision of this Act has been contravened.
Likewise, the GA-FDD has also urged customers to inquire about the storage conditions and presentation of dispensed medicines.