Pharmacy Council Asked To Crack Whip On Mushroom Pharmacies

THE Pharmacy Council has been asked to crack the whip on ‘mushroom’ pharmacy stores that are operating without permit.

Some of them, according to the outgoing Minister of Health, Sherry Ayittey, operate without qualified pharmacists, contrary to the law regulating the operations and sale of drugs in the country.

Speaking at the ministry’s turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra yesterday, Ms Ayittey said her outfit together with the council would soon undertake a roll call to check the status of the pharmaceutical stores and ascertain if they are being manned by qualified pharmacists.

She said though the Pharmacy Council pegged the pharmaceutical facilities at 1,841 out which 1,613 are in good standing, she believed there might be some, operating without the notice of the Council.

Ms. Ayittey said her call, was to help deal with the tendency where some of them might be dealing or selling fake drugs to innocent people, saying her attention had been drawn to the fact that 243 more pharmacy shops would be added to the list this year.

The situation, she said, was also not creating ‘room’ for qualified pharmacists to be employed, adding that her outfit together with the council would embark on an exercise to weed out quack pharmacists to pave the way for qualified pharmacists to take over.

She urged the council to also check the activities of traditional medicine operators to ensure that they operate under hygienic conditions.

On the sale of drugs in the open market particularly in public transport, Ms Ayittey said the Food and Drugs Authority was collaborating with transport operators to discourage people from engaging in such businesses.

According to her, some of the drugs could be fake, others expired while some of the sellers claimed some of the medicines could cure more than one illness.

Ms. Ayittey said the Authority had also developed a number of measures to clampdown on the activities of people who smuggle medicinal products and other consumables through unapproved routes

She said the FDA had also intensified its post market surveillance, saying in 2012, it conducted a total of 2,800 activities compared to 3,900 surveillance conducted in 2013.

The minister said the FDA issued 1,121 certificates for the manufacture and sale of salt for export, and vetted 310 advertisements in 2012 and 229 in 2013.

On the operations of the National Health Insurance Scheme, the minister said it had been proven that the sector had been one of the best performing state institutions in the quest of providing quality health service as part of the social intervention programmes.  By Francis Asamoah Tuffour & Edwina Ivy Addo







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