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09.04.2006 Health

Medical Doctors warn against prescription of new drugs

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Koforidua, April 9, GNA- The Co-ordinator of the National Centre for Pharmacovigilance(NCPV), Dr. Alex Dodoo has warned medical doctors against the prescription of new drugs which they were not well informed about.

He explained that, every single drug has a side effect and therefore, advised medical doctors not to accept the claim by some manufacturers that their drugs had no side effect. Dr Dodoo was speaking at a one-day seminar on the monitoring of Adverse Drug Reactions at Koforidua, which was organized by the NCPV in collaboration with the Koforidua Regional Hospital.

The seminar was attended by pharmacists from hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, private pharmacists, medical officers and some health workers in the Koforidua Municipality. He said a significant number of drugs in the country are not registered because they did not pass through the normal process required for them to be accepted to be used in the country legally and under such conditions, there was the need for a system to monitor the effect of such drugs on the people.

Dr Dodoo therefore, urged all health workers to co-operate with the NCPV to help reduce the cost of health service to patients and also the workload on health workers since considerable reduction in the adverse drug reactions in the country would reduce the number of times that patients visit the hospital.

He said within the last three months, his outfit had send out 60,000 report forms on adverse drug reaction and within the next six months, would study adverse drug reactions of 10,000 patients taking anti-malaria drugs.

The Head of the Pharmacy Department of the Koforidua Regional Hospital, Mr Charles Baah said Pharmacovigilance is concerned with the detection, assessment and prevention of adverse reactions to drugs. He said a functional pharmacovigilnace system was necessary for the prevention of drug related human suffering and also to avoid the human and financial cost associated with adverse drug reactions. Mr. Baah said, in the past, reporting on adverse drug reactions were centred only at the Teaching Hospitals and the cities but currently the trend was to make all regional hospitals report on adverse drug reactions.

He said zonal centers for the reception of the adverse drug reactions would be established and safety monitoring unit would be established in Accra to co-ordinate the activities of the zonal centres. The Deputy Co-ordinator of NCPV, Ms. Augustina Appiah-Danquah said the report of the adverse drug reactions helped improve quality care and help improve the confidence of patients in health professionals. She said it also helped in getting feedback on drug released into the system. 09 April 06