The governing board of the Pharmacy Council was inaugurated in Accra on Friday with a charge to step up regulation of the profession to restore sanity and protect lives of the citizenry.
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu,in expressing concern over the rise in drug abuse, especially among the youth, tasked the board to apply the laws to the latter to check unprofessional conducts among practitioners and minimise threats to the industry.
“There are a number of pharmacists dispensing drugs without prescription and others, unlicensed but practising which is against the ethics and laws guiding the profession. These practices tend to have long term impact on our health if not checked and the board must begin to look closely into some of these issues,” he urged.
MrAgyeman-Manu assured of the Ministry’s support to enable the Council deliver on its mandate to improve health and well-being of the populace.
In a remark, the chairperson of the nine-member board, Mrs Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa, promised to work assiduously to bring sanity into the pharmaceutical practice.
She outlined areas the board would tackle, including strengthening its inspectorate division, liaise with allied bodies to clamp down on quacks, check the establishment of pharmacies and chemical shops and ensure pharmacists had requisite licence to operate.
“We hope to change things at the Council and ensure a well-regulated sector. We hope to execute our mandate to the latter to serve the best interest of Ghanaians,” she said.
Mrs Addae-Afoakwa, who is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dayden Pharmacy, appealed for resourcing of the council’s inspectorate division, saying, “we need a lot of cars to be able to move around, as well as personnel or task force to help in monitoring activities from region to region, and we plead that we are assisted in that area.”
She encouraged Ghanaians to take charge of their health and avoid taking in unprescribed drugs.
“We advise that people do not take medications unless prescribed to them because these habits lead to resistance and other long-term side effects on our health. Let us eat healthy, exercise regularly and take the needed rest to rejuvenate the system,” she advised.
Other members on the board are Dr Audu Rauf, the Registrar of the Council, Mrs Joycelyn Naa Korkoi Azeez, a representative of the Ministry, and Professor Berko Panyin Anto, representing accredited training institutions.
The rest are the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Mr Samuel Kow Donkoh, Agnes Naa Kwaley Quartey-Papafio, a State Attorney, Dr Alfred J. Aidoo, Dr Stanley Coffie and Dr Mrs Yvonne Ayongo Adu-Boahen, all nominees of the Minister.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH