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22.04.2004 General News

Food and Drugs Board tightens grip control on drugs supply

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Ho, April.22, Mr Emmanuel Agyarko, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has said the Board would ensure that only approved and efficacious drugs got to the hinterlands. Speaking at the launch of CAREshop Franchise Initiative in Ho, Mr Agyarko said the FDB would collaborate with other regulatory bodies to make efforts to extend access to essential drugs beyond the urban areas successfully.

Under the CAREshop Franchise Initiative, selected Chemical Sellers are trained to market essential drugs procured from a pool to enable them to sell at affordable prices.

Mr Alex Banful, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Social Marketing Foundation Enterprise Limited (GSMFEL) said the initiative is an attempt to correct the imbalance in drugs distribution. He said there were 1,000 privately owned Pharmacies located in mainly urban areas, while over 5,000 Licensed Chemical Sellers (LDS) operate in the rural areas.

Mr Banful said GSMFL, which is managing the initiative, with technical assistance from Management Sciences for Health (MSH), aim to franchise at least 700 licensed chemical shops in the next three years.

He said Volta and Eastern regions, currently have 135 CAREshops under the first phase of the programme, which would cover the rest of the country in two other phases.

Mr Banful said Chemical Sellers running the shops were trained with funds from the Department of International Development (DFID) of Britain.

Dr Andrew Arde-Acquah, Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said the initiative was a laudable one, which would be actively supported by the GHS as a complement to its efforts in health delivery.

CAREshop, according to a brochure distributed at the function is an acronym, representing Customer Centred, Affordable, Reliable and Efficient Health Care Services.

It said the initiative provides franchised chemical sellers with management support, appropriate entrepreneurial skills, skills in rational use of drugs, managing simple ailments of common occurrence in their communities, a reliable source of good quality and affordable medicines.