Once a fake or counterfeit medicine slips through the system and enter a pharmacy, the harm has already been done. The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) is therefore launching an initiative called PREVENT with its partners,mPedigree Network and PopOut to implement preventive measures against fake and counterfeit medicines.
PREVENT stands for Patients’ Research, Empowerment, Vigilance, and Education Through New Technologies. The initiative shall seek to prevent as many fake and counterfeit medicines from entering the Ghanaian supply chain in the first place, by improving vigilance, empowering patients, and educating the public through social media and themPedigree Goldkeys platform.
This is now even more critical as this country confronts epidemics such as Cholera, and as fears are mounting about Ebola. Fake antibiotics and other medicines would only undermine the control of epidemics.
The PSGH has engaged two technology partners for PREVENT. PopOut (www.popoutweb.com), an award-winning digital agency based in Accra, shall support the social media strategy, and mPedigree Network (www.mPedigree.Net), also an award-winning social enterprise based in Accra, shall provide its goldkeys technology (www.goldkeys.net) to enable patients and consumers to use their mobile phones to verify their medicines at various pharmacies.
Social Media Strategy
All are encouraged to visit these websites and social media portals for important tips and alerts on how to keep safe and defend your health and that of your family from fake medicines. Share your insights, experiences and viewpoints.
Verifying Medicines Using Your Mobile Phone
The following pharmaceutical companies are the launch partners for the mobile authentication of medicines program:
What to look out for: A scratch panel on a mini-label, and a gold padlock with a key insert, on the pack of medicine.
What to do: Scratch off the panel and text the revealed PIN to shortcode 1393. Wait for a response. If the response is negative, do not use the medicine, and follow the instructions on the screen.
Plans for the Near Future
It is the expectation of the Pharmaceutical Society and its partners that over the next 3 years, millions of Ghanaians will be able to improve their confidence in the quality of pharmaceuticals sold in Ghana, and that this shall also improve confidence in the pharmacy profession. For this to happen, the PSGH aims to collaborate with critical government institutions and regulatory agencies, such as the Food & Drug Authority, the Ministry of Health, as well as Civil Society and the private sector.
The PSGH calls on all stakeholders to support PREVENT and make it a resounding success.
Pharm. James Ohemeng Kyei
Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana
+233 30 2910263
+233 28 8244 387
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