Only 16 out of 61 superintendent pharmacists in the Volta Region were regular at post between January and June this year, Mr Ken Osei Owusu, the Regional Manager of the Pharmacy Council, has said.

He said the 16 present at post included locum pharmacists and described the phenomenon as “very worrying and unacceptable.”

Mr Owusu was addressing a second phase training for community pharmacies in the Region on pharmaco-vigilance in Ho, organised by the Food and Drugs Authority.

He said medicine was potentially poisonous, hence the need for supervising pharmacists to be present anytime pharmacies or drugstores were opened and that it was unprofessional for them to leave their responsibilities to attendants.

Mr Owusu said: “Most of them are just playing secondary roles and this is very bad. In developed countries, pharmacies are not allowed to open when pharmacists are absent and we must learn from this.”

He, therefore, charged proprietors of pharmacies to ensure that their supervising pharmacists were regular because their presence “add a touch” to service delivery.

Mr Benjamin Appiasam-Dadson, a Regulatory Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ho, said community pharmacists played vital roles in patient engagement for effective monitoring of medicine safety and better treatment outcome, for which reason they needed to be regular at the pharmacies.

“We all know that the first point of call for many people who are sick is the pharmacies or drugstores, so we can only encourage our pharmacists not to abandon the pharmacies and leave the work to attendants,” he said.

Mr Appiasam-Dadsons said the training on medicine safety monitoring was part of the Authority’s quality assurance system aimed at protecting patients from unnecessary harm.

He said it was also to bring pharmaco-vigilance closer to the people and position community pharmacies as “patient safety centres” to report on Adverse Drug Reactions.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh