As part of efforts to improve health care delivery in the country, a patient engagement in medicine safety exercise, had been launched in Accra yesterday.
The programme would give the opportunity to patients to report side effects of medication to health facilities, for complaints to be researched into and addressed.
It was organised by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development, and attended by stakeholders in the health sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mr Hudu Mogtari, said there was the need for effective monitoring of medicines, to ensure their safety and early detection of side effects to patients.
He said Ghana joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) programme for International Drug Monitoring in November 2001, and had been monitoring the safety of medicines since then.
“The major source of adverse reaction reports is from healthcare professionals namely doctors,pharmacists,nurses and other health professionals”, he added
Mr Mogtari said involving patients and customers in the monitoring of medicines would help reduce adverse drug reaction, prevent harm to patients, reduce healthcare cost at hospitals due to adverse effects and ensure public confidence in medicines and achieve best clinical outcome for patients.
He said reports from patients would provide information on medicines taken by patients in the country.
“In the process of actively reporting any adverse reaction of medicines, the patients learns how to manage his or her medication and to communicate more effectively with their health professionals”, Mr Mogtari stressed
The Safety and Monitoring Officer at the FDA, Mr Joseph Sablah, urged patients not to hesitate to report side effects of medicines, to help in research.
He said “Blue forms” would be made available at health facilities and pharmacies to take complaints from patients and be forwarded to the FDA.
By Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi