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Health News of Friday, 21 September 2012

Source: GNA

Influx of fake drugs is worrying – Mettle-Nunoo

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Rojo Mettle-Nunoo has taken a swipe at the influx of fake drugs and indicated that it was a worrying trend that must be tackled with zest to safeguard the health of the citizenry.

He underscored the need for pharmacists to work within the laid down procedures of their profession and the approved guidelines for drug management in order to help address the numerous challenges in the health care sector and ensure smooth health care delivery.

Mr. Mettle-Nunoo, himself a pharmacist, was opening the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), which has enumerated a number of challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry.

The one-week meeting is being held on the theme: “Rational Use of Medicine: A Key to Quality Health Outcomes”.

He identified the Aflao Station in Accra as the worse entry point of fake drugs in the country and urged the appropriate authorities to help deal with the menace because of its repercussions on the overall health status of the people.

Another challenge he mentioned was the improper disposal of expired drugs which some “unscrupulous” dispensers of drug and pharmacy shops re-label and sell to the unsuspecting public, whilst vast range of anti-biotic were also sold to the public without prescriptions.

He said if these anomalies, which were harmful and very costly to the individual were not addressed, the health implications would be bad.

“These practices are extremely harmful to the individual and the country as a whole, presenting a heavy drain on the economy of the nation” he noted.

The Deputy Minister, assured the pharmacists that he would lead them in their crusade to secure better conditions of service because the pharmacist was a necessary equal partner in the health care chain, who must be given that due recognition.

“I will liaise with the executives of the PSGH to negotiate better conditions to enhance the Better Ghana Agenda which belongs to all Ghanaians”, he declared.

In a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Alban Bagbin, the Minister said it was important that all citizens accessed basic and quality health care.

Consequently, his Ministry was ready to find appropriate solution to the concerns raised by the Society and deal with them appropriately.

The President of the PSGH, Dr. James Ohemeng-Kyei said 16 of the 23 hospitals in the Northern Region representing almost 70 percent had no pharmacists and urged the Ministry to as a matter of urgency employ pharmacists to be deployed to the area.

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