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30.11.2005 Regional News

Pharmacy Council warns drug peddlers

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Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - Mr Joseph Nyagbe, Acting Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, on Wednesday said the Council would not relent in its efforts to combat the activities of drug peddlers.

"Drug peddling is becoming a menace. The market places, buses and streets are gradually being invaded by peddlers," he said, and advised the public not to patronize drugs from them.

Mr Nyagbe, speaking at launch of a pre-licensing orientation for newly qualified chemical sellers, urged overseers of lorry parks and owners of commercial vehicles not to allow drug peddlers to sell drugs in their areas of operation.

The training programme would give the newly qualified chemical sellers the requisite skills to offer competent and qualified services to the public especially in deprived areas. He said the Pharmacy Council could not guarantee the quality and source of pharmaceutical products from drug peddlers hence it was collaborating with the Police to ensure that the situation was brought under control.

Services rendered by licensed chemical sellers, he said, were highly appreciated thus the need for stringent measures to build public confidence in the drug supply system.

Mr Nyagbe said the Council expected licensed chemical sellers to provide safe, good quality and efficacious medicines and also provide the needed education on the rational use of medicine and good counselling to the vulnerable groups.

He noted that the licence was not an authority to abdicate one's responsibility to other persons or engage in wholesale supply of medicines and other activities apart from those specified on it. "The licence does not also confer the status of a doctor so that the holder could use the premises to conduct surgical operations or administer injections," he said.

Mr Nyagbe urged the chemical sellers to participate in all training programmes of the Council saying it was the only way to guarantee the highest level of pharmaceutical care by providers.

He expressed the hope that licensed chemical sellers would put the knowledge and skills acquired from the training into practice. Mr Albert Wiredu, Acting Greater Accra Regional Officer of the Pharmacy Council, briefing participants on the procedures of licensing said the chemical sellers were required to observe standards with regard to the premises from which they operated and the quality of service provided.

He said the licence expired on 31st December of every year and must be renewed by the 31st of January the following year. He cautioned that failure to renew a licence for three years would require re-inspection of the premises before it was considered for renewal.

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