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Health News of Thursday, 13 September 2018


Be lenient with us – OTCMS

The Association has asked the Pharmacy Council to review sanctions meted out to members The Association has asked the Pharmacy Council to review sanctions meted out to members

The Acting President of Over-The-Counter Medicine Sellers Association (OTCMS), Al-Hassan Carboo has appealed to the Pharmacy Council to review sanctions meted out to over-the-counter medicine sellers who operate outside the remit of the council's regulations.

He also wants the council to streamline policies that would correct and transform over-the-counter medicine sellers instead of punitive measures that would throw them out of business.

"We earnestly appeal to the pharmacy council to review these punitive measures and come out with policies that would be corrective and transformative," he said.

According to him, sanctions including fines and penalties that range from GHS1,200 to over GHS20,000 depending upon the gravity of the offence, are exorbitant for its members.

He further described measures adopted by the pharmacy council to regulate OTCMS as a strategy to throw them out of business and, consequently deny impoverished communities access to essential services in primary health care.

Addressing delegates of the 14th annual delegates congress at the cultural centre in Kumasi on 12 September 2018, Mr Carboo noted that considering the capital of an average OTC practitioner in most parts of deprived communities, it would be suicidal for such fines to be imposed on them.

He said although OTCMS does not condone illegalities, he believes that punitive measures for civic offences, as defined, must be corrective and transformative rather than crippling.

Speaking on the theme: "Curbing medicine misuse and abuse in Ghana - the role of over-the-counter medicine sellers", Mr Carboo reiterated that despite the appeal to the council to review its punishment, it is imperative for OTCMS to be law-abiding.

He added that anyone selling drugs outside Category C drugs, including tramadol, will not be shielded but quickly handed over to the law enforcement agencies.

He charged members of OTCMS to preach against the abuse and misuse of Tramadol in their respective regions.

For her part, Anita Owusu Frimpong, a representative from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) called on members of OTCMS to adhere to the sale of only Category C drugs.

Speaking on the sidelines with Class News' Maxwell Ofori Atta, Deputy Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, Albert Wiredu Arko, maintained that the council would continue to sanction illegal over-the-counter medicine sellers, who flout the rules, to control misuse and abuse of Tramadol in the country.

He revealed that the council is collaborating with the FDA and security agencies to inspect and clamp down on those who keep selling Tramadol.

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