REGULATORY bodies like the Food and Drugs Board are to be strengthened to enable them to detect fake drugs imported into the country, Vice-President John Mahama, has announced.
Speaking at a meeting with a delegation from the Commonwealth Phar-maceutical Society at the Osu Castle yesterday, Mr Mahama expressed concern about organisa-tions which manufacture fake drugs and export them to developing countries.
He, therefore, urged regulatory bodies such as the Pharmacy Council and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to be vigilant and rid the system of fake drugs which only worsened the plights of the sick and vulnerable.
The eight-member delegation led by Professor Dr. Kamal Midha, President of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, was at the Castle to invite the Vice-President to deliver the keynote address at an ongoing conference of the society in Accra, tomorrow.
The Vice-President said one of the drawbacks to the development of the country’s pharmaceutical industry was the difficulty in getting certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to manufacture drugs locally, leading to an over-dependence on imported medicines.
He, therefore, appealed to the International Pharmaceutical Federation and the Commonwealth Pharmacist Society to assist Ghana to get certification from the WHO so that drugs could be manufactured locally to give palliative care to patients.
He noted that pharmaceutical professionals have a lot of work to do as some bacteria and viruses have developed resistance to some of the drugs manufactured to some diseases such as malaria.
He sated that instead of engaging in turf wars as to which professionals have the monopoly to prescribe medicines, doctors and pharmacists should collaborate to offer better health care to patients.
He said the shortage of qualified pharmacists, prescription of the right medicines, and the right dosage, were some of the issues that should engage the attention of the society.
Vice-President Mahama asked the Federation and the society to support Ghana in developing her pharmaceutical industry.
Prof. Midha, stressed the need for rational use of medicines and said the WHO had instituted a task force to ensure that countries which manufacture medicines follow the right procedures and accepted standards.
He said the pharmacy profession was under-going tremendous change, adding, “We want medicines to be affordable and accessible to the needy; he also want pharmacists to be part of the development of health policy”.
Dr Midha said in many developing countries, pharmacists had broad knowledge about medicines and patient care and stressed the need for educational programmes for such pharmacists to be abreast of modern trends.