The COA Research and Manufacturing Company Limited (RMCL), has launched and introduced the COA Mixture, a herbal medicine to replace the COA FS, a food supplement it recalled from the market in April this year.
The new product is an improvement of the COA FS with better efficacy for the general well-being of consumers.
Speaking at the official launch of the product in Accra, Professor Samuel Ato Duncan, Executive President of Center for Awareness Global Peace Mission, said though COA Mixture and COA FS were manufactured using the same ingredients, the former was produced under improved, safety standards with measures against future occurrences of possible contamination.
"It is now a medicine improved in quality for your general well-being," he said.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in April this year ordered COA RMCL, then COA Center, to recall all COA FS products from the market after it found out that some of the products were contaminated.
Professor Duncan, said following the FDA's directive, COA FS products with a market value of GHC1, 680,000.00 were recalled by the Center and destroyed with assistance from the Authority under the supervision of the Ghana Police Service.
He added that the order, though impacted greatly on the Company, was in the right direction.
Professor Duncan, said the Center had over the past four months put in place a number of preventive measures including; the formation of the COA RMCL, to see to further research and manufacturing of COA products, building of new structures to facelift the old factory to international standards and purchasing and installing of new automated equipment to reduce human contact and also to improve quality.
Others are the installation of security structures to prevent possible contamination, employment of technical and non-technical staff to improve quality and the training of Staff by the FDA on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
"This preventive measures and up-liftment of COA has cost us not less than GHC10 million and executed within a span of four months," he added.
He commended the FDA for the immense support it gave the Company towards improving on its safety and quality standards.
"As a regulator, we acknowledge the pivotal role they played in ensuring the safety of consumers in the country. We want to assure them that, we will continue to adhere strictly to their guidelines and policies to ensure safety of consumers.
"We also want to assure the public and all stakeholders that our Company will always respect and abide by FDA's directives and will never indulge in anything that will mar our relationship or tarnish the hard won reputation on the FDA or vice versa," he added.
Mrs Tina Gifty Mensah, a Deputy Minister of Health, expressed Government's commitment to provide support for the herbal medicine sector and that the Ministry had integrated herbal medicine into the main healthcare stream, with 40 herbal medicine units created within selected health facilities across the country.
Mrs Mensah said “We have also developed an Essential Medicines List specifically for herbal medicine, which will soon be adopted for selected healthcare facilities across the country.
While commending COA RMCL and the FDA for quickly addressing their impasse, the Minister urged the FDA to continue to build the capacities of sector players to enable them produce quality medicines capable of supporting healthcare delivery.
Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, Director, Center for Plant Medicine Research at Mampong also assured COA RMCL of the Center's continuous support to enhance the quality of their products.
Mr Kojo Odum Efuful, President, Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine (GHAFTRAM), in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Peter Kobina Eghan, National Organiser, called for the establishment of a traditional medicine fund to support the development and research into traditional medicine in the country.