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05.01.2005 General News

Revised Drug Policy document launched

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Wa, Jan. 5, GNA - The Revised National Drugs Policy document, which provides the framework for the harmonization of pharmaceutical service delivery in the country, was on Wednesday launched at Wa in the Upper West region.

The revised policy, which is a sequel to that of 1998, lays emphasis on drug selection, drug procurement, storage and distribution, drug financing, drug quality assurance, rational use, human resource development for drug management, research and development.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Felix Yellu, Chief Pharmacist of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), observed that any country without a Drugs policy, often experienced haphazard and uncoordinated developments in the pharmaceutical sub-sector.

He said the ultimate goal of the policy was to ensure that all Ghanaians had access to good quality essential medicines that would be rationally used to improve their health status.

According to him, the new policy had deviated from its orthodox form of capturing contemporary and tropical issues such as trade related aspects of the intellectual property rights/WTO agreements and how they affected generic drugs and drugs for new emerging diseases and pharmaceutical trade.

In a speech read on his behalf, the regional minister, Mr Sahanun Mogtari, called for the enforcement of byelaws pertaining to the sale and use of drugs.

He noted that many people in the society had become perpetually ill due to their misuse of drugs and, therefore, urged all stakeholders in the administration of drugs to play their various roles properly to ensure that what was derived from drugs was actually what they were intended for.

Dr Daniel Yayemain, Senior Medical Officer, Public Health, said the efficient management of drugs was very crucial to the development of the health sector.

According to him, about 50 per cent of the expenditure in the sector was always spent on drugs.

Dr Edward Gyader, a retired medical director of the regional hospital in Wa, said the revised policy would serve as a strong backbone for the National Health Insurance Scheme since rational drug use was very important for the health of the people.

Although drugs cure the diseases for which they were often prescribed, each of them had a degree of damage to the human system and should, therefore, not be misused, he warned.

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