- …as foreign demand booms
The First Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Centre of Awareness (COA) Research and Manufacturing Company, Nana Ofosuhene Apenteng Aware, has revealed that the regulatory challenges encountered in the past years have better-positioned the company to fine-tune production to suit international markets.
According to him, the standardisation, classification and efficacy requirements, among others – demands regulatory organisations such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) demanded to be put in place before production – have led to the implementation of world-class best practices, making the products highly sought-after on the global market.
COA Research Company, producer of the herbal medicine COA Food Supplement (FS) now Mixture, was determined to overcome the hurdles encountered when the product was mentioned earlier last year as an effective treatment for COVID-19. It therefore embarked on an intense mechanisation drive and quality enhancement mission to address all the concerns, as management were not ready to give up the dream of producing a world-class herbal drug.
The First Deputy CEO indicated that with the improvement in all quality standards and meeting both local and international regulations, demand for the product – especially on the global market- is overwhelming; with countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Africa and USA leading the chart.
“COA FS has been in the system for some time now; it is an herbal medicinal product that was formulated to boost the immune system of persons. Initially it was geared toward the treatment of many illnesses, but regulatory and other mechanisms did not allow it to be registered as a full-fledged drug at the time and remained as food supplement for a long time (COA FS), before now changing to COA Mixture.
“About a year ago, this whole place was just a small area that was used to produce the drug; but because of the issues that we went through, it gave us opportunity to expand both in physical infrastructure and human resources. This has enabled us to be counted among the great herbal product manufacturers in the sub-region, with demand increasing significantly from all over the world,” he said.
He made these remarks on the occasion of a field-trip by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) to the organisation’s factory to be familiarised with operational and other challenges.
Reiterating the popular adage that ‘health is wealth’, Nana Ofosuhene emphasised that if Ghanaians are healthy to work, expenditure on health will reduce, productivity will grow and less pressure will be on government to provide health infrastructure. Therefore, the company’s objective hinges on the principle of ensuring that Ghanaians have adequate health and are protected.
COA Factory Registration Status
The current COA factory is a Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA) approved facility. It is also World Health Organisation (WHO) Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) compliant, and is in the process of implementing the ISO 9001-2015 Quality Management System. Located in Central Region, the facility is semi-automated, health and fire safety-certified and environmentally friendly, offering direct job opportunities to some 120 people.
Functions of COA Mixture
The use of COA Mixture helps strengthen the immune system to resist any attack from foreign and damaging organisms like viruses, bacteria and parasites. For already compromised immune systems, it strengthens them to withstand disease and fight to restore your immunity.
COA Mixture can also be taken to support the treatment of any sickness, disease or infection. It is brewed and distilled at high temperatures, hence its unique colourless feature. The product is made from a composition of six different plant leaves: namely Azadirachta indica, Carica papaya, Spondias mombin, Vernonia amygdalina, Ocimum viride, and Persea americana (Avocado).
Though COA Mixture has now been accepted and certified as a potent herbal extract that supports the human immune system, ensures strong bones, improved heart health, strong teeth, improved brain health and improved muscle health, testimonials abound about the drug producing results even for untargetted health challenges.
Production capacity and ability to meet demand
Management of COA have indicated that with demand from abroad increasing steadily, the current production capacity of 200 boxes a day – translating into 4,800 bottles – is becoming woefully inadequate; and as such, a multipurpose factory is in the offing.
Beyond the physical infrastructure, the company is also investing heavily in its raw material base. It has acquired vast acres of land area for cultivating the herbal plants required for production. A number of outgrower farmers are also in the value chain, supplying the factory with required raw materials.
The Frist Deputy CEO also indicated that plans are underway to introduce new products onto the market – such as injectables, tablets among others, to the ultimate benefit of Ghanaians. For safety and security reasons, every production cycle is quarantined and tested before release onto the market.