Mr Samuel Kwakye, the Eastern Regional Director of the FDA, has called on pharmacists to engage clients on drugs they purchase to ensure that they report back adverse reactions or any unusual happenings in the course of the treatment.

He said feedback on drug reactions are very critical in monitoring drug’s efficacy and safety for the public and also called on pharmacists to be alert and vigilant to detect fake drugs and report them to the FDA immediately for prompt action.

Mr Kwakye said one needs to be cautious as fake drugs could easily enter the market and it is important that pharmacists, who have the expertise and knowledge in medicines, detect them early for the appropriate action to be taken.

Speaking at a workshop for about 40 private pharmacists in the Eastern Region, whose facilities had been designated as Patients Safety Centers (PSC), he appealed to the pharmacists to make the needed effort to solicit feedbacks from their clients to enable the FDA monitor all drugs and medicines in line with its mandate.

The PSCs designation was part of efforts by the FDA to deepen collaboration with all its stakeholders especially the pharmacies to incorporate patient’s feedback on drug reactions into dispensing of medicines and help facilitate the monitoring of medicines on the market.

Nana Ansah Adjei, the Regional Pharmacovigilance officer of the FDA, said even though drugs go through three phases of clinical trials before being released onto the market, there are limitations as to number of people involved in the trials and it is very important for its safety to be monitored once it reaches the market.

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Mrs Brenda Yayra Opong, the Eastern Regional Manager of the Pharmaceutical society of Ghana (PSG), said in engaging patients and detecting substandard medicines, it was imperative for pharmacists to always be present at their facilities or train competent people with the requisite knowledge to man their facilities.

She said a survey conducted in the region showed that only 26 per cent of qualified pharmacists or related assistants were found in many of the pharmacy shops in the region and said the presence of competent and qualified persons was critical in ensuring the safety of patients.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh