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27.07.2004 Regional News

Pharmacists asked to provide advice on herbal preparations

By GNA

Accra, July 27, GNA - Pharmacists were on Tuesday urged to provide expert advice on the many herbal preparations making the rounds to save the population from any adverse side effects that might result from the use of such drugs.

Mr Ernest Bediako, Chief Executive Officer of Ernest Chemist, said pharmacists would be failing in their responsibility if they kept the in-depth professional knowledge that they had acquired to themselves without placing it at the disposal of the public.

"It is important to note that the pharmaceutical business is not just about trading for high profits, but it is also about ensuring that patients get the best healthcare," he said.

Mr Bediako was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Representatives of Ethical Pharmaceutical Industries (AREPI), which groups various foreign drug companies with sales outlets in Ghana.

The meeting is on the theme: "Pharmaceutical Services Beyond the Dispensing of Drugs."

Mr Bediako said since it would be difficult to get rid of these herbal preparations because of their role in complementing orthodox medicine, the best that the Pharmacists could do was to guide the users to minimize any threat these drugs could pose to their health. This the Pharmacists could do through effective collaboration with herbalists to present drugs in the correct dosage and form so that the best product is dispensed to the public.

Mr Bediako asked members to convince their companies to collaborate with some of the local industries to transfer technology and help create job locally and reduce the cost of products.

The Minister of Health, Dr Kweku Afriyie, in a speech read on his behalf said the Ministry was seeking a greater collaboration between Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses, and Laboratory Technicians to be able to offer total care to patients.

He said changing trends in disease management in the world had caused the health team to become interdependent to ensure desirable outcomes for the benefit of the patient.

Dr Afriyie called for effective link between the private and public sector if the country was to keep ahead of emerging diseases and infections to be able to provide cost effective health solutions for the people.

Mrs Ama Nkansah, Principal Pharmacists, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, stressed research and documentation as important if the Pharmacists were to provide adequate care for patients.

There is also the need to specialize in various pharmacological fields instead of the current practice where a Pharmacist did a bit of everything.

Mr Edmund Bampoe, Chairman of AREPI, said the Association was seeking ways through which the public could benefit from better medical care. 27 July 04

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