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Gov’t pharmacists worried over illegal medication in Northern Ghana

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The Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) of the Northern Region has described as illegal and a contravention of the Pharmacy Act, Act 489, the dispensing of drugs to patients by pharmacy technicians in the Tamale Teaching Hospital, West and Central Hospitals in absence of professional pharmacies authorities.

It noted that since the GHOSPA in the Region joined its mother union on the nationwide strike, the authorities of these facilities had without authorization broken into the pharmacies of these hospitals and given authorization to the pharmacy technicians to dispense drugs to patients, a practice they described as illegal.

They have therefore called on the Pharmacy Council of Ghana, the Ghana Medical Association, GHOSPA National Chairman, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tamale Teaching Hospital and the government to intervene in the matter to avert any health problems that might arise as a result of the practice.

These were contained in a press release issued in Tamale and signed by Mr. Botah Baafi Adomako, Northern Regional GHOSPA Spokesperson, and made available to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

The statement said “No person shall open or permit any other person to open any premises to the public under the description of ‘pharmacy’ ‘dispensary’ ‘chemists’, ‘drug store’ or any other similar description unless a registered pharmacist is on the premises to supervise the dispensing of drugs or medication”.

They noted that while acknowledging the role of technicians/technologist, they also want to bring to the notice of the authorities of these facilities about the above provision and requested them to ensure its compliance as part of the provision of Act 489.

It added that the continuous breach undermines the very core of the pharmacy profession and it was necessary to safeguard the interest of the patient (public) in their quest for the highest standards in the practice of pharmacy.

They appealed to the public to bear with them during these difficult and trying times occasioned by the inability of the stakeholders and government to resolve their grievances over a year, stressing that, ‘We entreat the public not to jeopardize their health by being cautious about their medication from persons posing as pharmacists as this might have long term consequences.

“GHOSPA members in these hospitals have in line with the proverbial maturity of pharmacists elected these options for formal statutory intervention to avoid any confrontation or undesired consequence should they(pharmacists) also take the law into their hands, since most of these facilities were forcefully opened/broken into whiles they remain accountable as mangers of these pharmacies”.

Source: GNA

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