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08.02.2006 Health

Chemical Sellers want authorisation to sell more drugs

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Ho, Feb. 8, GNA - The Ghana Chemical Sellers Association is seeking the expansion of the list of drugs its members are allowed by law to sell.

The expansion, according to the Association, would enable it have greater impact on health delivery in view of the limited number of pharmacies in the country, mainly urban based, as compared with licensed chemical sellers who are found in every part of the country. Mr George Awunyo, Volta Regional Chairman of the Association, told Journalists at a briefing in Ho on Wednesday that the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) would provide a grant for research, mobilization, planning and sensitization of members to prepare them to take on the added responsibilities entailed in their request. BUSAC is funded jointly by the DANIDA, DFID and USAID he said. Mr Awunyo said the fact that the bulk of the Ghanaian population had easy access to chemical shops than pharmacies made it imperative that some essential drugs were added to the list dispensed by chemical shops.

He said just as chemical sellers were trained to handle allergies associated with the use of Malaria drugs, so could they be trained to dispense other essential drugs now limited to the pharmacies. Mr Awunyo cited the case of the Volta Region where he said there were only 18 pharmacies as against 981 licensed Chemical Selling points as justification to grant the Association's request. He said the association would seek audience with the Pharmacy Council, the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), as well as the relevant parliamentary committees and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to get the list expanded.

Togbe Adela Dartey III, National President of the Association, said the services of chemical sellers were crucial in health delivery in the country and called for the updating of the laws to enable that sector contribute more in the distribution of drugs. Under the laws of the country Chemical sellers are limited to handling drugs classified as 'C', which are mainly analgesics, anti-malarial and certain types of cough mixtures.

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