Fake Pharmacists Cautioned

The Minister of Health, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, has cautioned unscrupulous individuals who supply and sell fake drugs to desist from the act. He said the consequences of such behavior not only pose a threat to the pharmaceutical profession but also to the general well being of Ghanaians. “This is because it creates the opportunity for callous people to deceive innocent citizens by selling either expired or counterfeit medicines,” he said. The minister gave the caution in a speech read on his behalf at the induction ceremony of newly qualified and registered pharmacists in Accra themed: “The pharmacist – A key link in achieving the millennium development goals.” Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyere, Head of Human Resource at the Ministry of Health, who read the minister’s speech, said the health ministry is aware of the strenuous efforts the pharmacy council is making in collaboration with the Ghana police service to curb the menace. “The recent swoop undertaken by the Pharmacy Council in Ashaiman is an example,” Dr. Denkyere said. He indicated that with regards to the limited logistics available to the council to execute its mandate with particular reference to inspection and enforcement, the ministry is pushing for speedy passage of the New Health Bill currently before the parliamentary sub-committee on health. “The passage of the Bill into law will provide the authority and legal framework to the Pharmacy council to perform its mandatory regulatory duties more effectively.” Dr. Denkyere, urged the newly inducted pharmacists to be tactful, confident, honest, dedicated and committed in their work as well as portray a high sense of purpose in their dealings with patients, co-workers, authorities and the public in general. Dr. Alex Dodoo, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, in his professional advice to the pharmacists, charged them to go beyond their profession to become statesmen. “As pharmacists you should go beyond giving medicines to becoming concerned with the environment, as well as reducing the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Four which is reducing child mortality; Five, which is improving maternal health and Six, which is combating HIV/AIDS and reducing malaria.” He also advised them to work with transparency and politeness in order to ensure patients’ safety. David Anim Addo, Chairman of the Pharmacy Council, administering the apothecary’s oath to the 179 registered pharmacists, also charged them to think beyond the pharmacy and health box and learn about other socio-economic issues such as poor sanitation and migration issues which will confront them as they begin practicing their profession. Shelta Genfior won the Pharmacy Law and Ethics Award while Adwoa Aboagyewaa Asamoah won the Overall Best Candidate Award for the 2010 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination.