Lawmakers are not taking kindly to what they consider a half-hearted attempt by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to appease (quiet down, calm down) them for ‘misbehavior’ by one of her lieutenants: the Chief of Police, Chris Massaquoi.Senators seem dissatisfied with a recent communication from President Sirleaf, concerning their call on her to take strong and appropriate action against Massaquoi, for what some have referred to as juvenile behavior .It may be recalled that President Sirleaf recently wrote the Senate replying a communication sent her in which that body complained of Director Massaquoi “laying siege to the Capitol Building while the Senate was in plenary (full attendance).”President Sirleaf informed the Senate that she had written Director Massaquoi “a strong letter of reprimand (scolding him) and…suspending him for two days to allow him time to write a letter of apology for personal presentated at a plenary sitting of the Senate.”Since that communication, lawmakers have been observed as having assumed a non-cooperative stance with the Executive.That suggests that the Senators are divided over a decision they obviously have been mulling (considering, thinking about) in connection with reprimand they believe insufficient to discourage the Police Chief from misbehaving in the future.Yesterday’s unadopted agenda was loaded with several important items, among them discussion on the proposed Amendment to Elections Law; Report from the Committee on Banking and Finance; Report from the Ways, Means, Finance and Budget on the Act to Provide Fifteen Percent of the Fiscal National Budget for County Development; and a communication from Police Director Massaquoi.Other important items on the unused agenda included a report from the Committee on Banking and Currency on the confirmation hearing of Hon. Boakai S. Kamara, Deputy Governor for economic Policy-Designate, Central Bank of Liberia; and the much talked-about communication from the House of Representatives on the placement of US$73,000,000 in the 2014/2015 National Budget.Meanwhile, one of the older Senators confided to a few journalists that executive sessions are being convened to deliberate important national issues that need to be kept out of the media. “What is for the media and the general public, we discuss in plenary; what is for Executive Sessions remains exclusively so.”For the second time since returning to the Capitol Building from their Constituency Break on January 13, Accordingly, members of the 53rd Senate yesterday failed to conduct open plenary; instead,the presiding officer seized the proposed agenda and asked for an Executive Session to discuss pressing national issues.Every attempt yesterday to draw even the most press-friendly Senators to divulge a gist of what is being discussed in executive sessions, failed to yield results.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) has ordered the recall of Ramipril, a drug for hypertension or congestive heart failure that was found to be unregistered and circulating on the local market.GA-FDD Director Marlon Cole told Guyana Times at the sidelines of a workshop on Tuesday, that the move was taken following a complaint the Department received on Sunday.Cole claimed that an immediate investigation was launched following the complaint and it was later found that the drug, which is highly used, was unregistered.GA-FDD Director Marlon Cole“The reason for registration is to ensure that the drugs were assessed either by a competent and serious reference authority or by the Caribbean registration. So, immediately as we recognised that the drug was not registered or no marketing authorisation was given to it to be sold on our local market, we made a decision to have it recalled from circulation with immediate effect,” he explained.Ramipril is used to treat mainly hypertension (high blood pressure). It is also used to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.The Director said the owner of the unregistered drug is cooperating with the Department and had indicated that it would conduct a recall with immediate effect.Given this recent discovery, Cole told this newspaper that the department would take stringent steps to ensure that other similar situations were reported and addressed.“We will examine pharmaceuticals and specifically look for prescription drugs and ensure that they are on our list as registered drugs. If that is not the case, and they are in circulation and have not been subjected to regulatory oversight, chances are that drug may be posing a public health risk,” he said.The Director explained that in any regulatory system, there was always a need for a balance to be maintained between the availability of drugs that were safe and filtering out substandard drugs.The assessment of these drugs looks at whether the bio-availability is sound, the active pharmaceuticals are indeed included, and the patient information is accurate, among other things.“We also need to check if the drugs could be sold in our climate because it is possible that a drug could be marketed in a temperate climate and when it comes to a tropical zone, it loses its efficacy. So, those are some of the things that our officers have to be vigilant about,” he added.Cole said that his team continued to work hard daily to ensure that everyone was compliant and that unregistered drugs did not reach consumers.The GA-FDD Head addressed a workshop on Tuesday for drug importers which focused on strengthening function and regulatory capacity, with special emphasis on the Caribbean regulatory system in Guyana.