Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, has urged pharmacists to do more to promote the rational use of the antibiotics and prevent abuse.
This has become necessary, he said, amid growing antimicrobial drug resistance, which was posing a threat to the country’s health system, adding that they should not only dispense the full course of treatment but ensure that patients take the full course of the medication.
Dr Tia, who was speaking at the opening of the annual general conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in Kumasi, said it was important to appreciate that better use of medicines helped to maximize health benefits and optimize spending in the health sector.
He highlighted the menace of substandard and fake drugs in the system and urged the gathering to spearhead the fight in tackling it.
The week-long meeting is being held under the theme: “Responsible use of medicines – saving lives, saving money”, and it has brought together over 1,800 pharmacists from across the country to share experience, scientific and professional knowledge to aid capacity building.
Dr Tia underlined the government’s determination to promote local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, saying his Ministry had already begun the process of establishing a Bioequivalence and Biopharmaceutical Research Centre with the inauguration of a 10-member committee.
The Committee had submitted its report and that was being studied, he said.
Mr James Ohemeng Kyei, President of the Society, expressed concern about the uncontrolled access to all classes of medicines by people and said that must be tackled.
He also spoke against the unethical and uncontrolled promotion of medicines including “direct-to-consumer advertisement in the media”.
Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Yaw Adusei, asked the Society to take up the challenge of discouraging the practice of self-medication.