“Globally, more than 50 per cent of all medicines prescribed inappropriately” – WHO

By
Patience Gbeze/Mariam Haruna, GNA
    

Accra, Sept. 26, GNA – According to the World
Health Organisation, globally, more than 50 per cent of all medicines were
inappropriately prescribed, dispensed, or sold, while 50 per cent of patients
fail to take them  correctly.

Mr Benjamin K. Botwe, President of the
Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), who disclosed this at the 2018 media launch
of World Pharmacists Day in Accra, said from the above information, it could be
concluded that more Pharmacists were needed for effective use of
medicines.   

He said: “A Pharmacist is required to ensure
that appropriate medicines prescribed to patients are correct as well as the
use of medicines”.

Every year, September 25 was set aside by the
International Pharmaceutical Federation Council to be celebrated as World
Pharmacists Day. The day is meant to highlight the role of pharmacists in ensuring
patient safety through responsible supply and use of medicines.

This year’s theme was “Pharmacists are your
medicine experts” and it focused on the extensive expertise that pharmacists
have and put to use every day to ensure better patient health.

Mr Botwe said the role of pharmacists in
patient’s adherence and compliance to prescribed medications could not be
overemphasized as patient education and custom blister-packed medications could
substantially and sustainably improve medication adherence among elderly
patients receiving complex medication regimes.

He noted that medication error was a
significant source of morbidity and mortality among patients, saying, “though
data about the Ghana situation are not readily available, they may reflect the
result of many studies elsewhere including a systematic review of the economic
impact of medication errors by Wash et al (2017).

“This study provided clinical and
cost-effectiveness evidence for the implementation of quality-of-care interventions.
The mean cost per medication error is from $3.02 dollars to $130,619.24
dollars,” he said.

Mr Botwe said reduction of error-related cost
was a key potential benefit to the National Health Insurance Scheme through the
use of interventions to address medication errors.

“Every year in the U.S., serious preventable
medications errors occur in 3.8 million in-patients’ admissions and 3.3 million
out-patient’s visit. The Institute of Medicine, in its report ‘To Err Is
Human’, estimated that 7,000 deaths in the U.S. each year were due to
preventable medication errors,” he added.

The President of PSGH said globally, the roles
of pharmacists continued to expand beyond the traditional role of being makers,
preparers, dispensers and custodians of medicines to evolve into being
subscribers in group practice with general medical practitioners to provide
vaccination and immunization services in community pharmacies in developed
countries.

He said with the shift in pharmacy practice
from being a products-centred practice to a patient-focused practice, the West
African Health Organisation (WAHO) has recommended that undergraduate pharmacy
education should be restructured to meet the demands of this new reality.

WAHO has developed a Doctor of Pharmacy
(PharmD) curriculum which member states should adapt and use in the training of
pharmacists in all Pharmacy Schools in West Africa.

Mr Botwe said the Faculty of Pharmacy and
Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
(KNUST) took up the challenge in 2012 and admitted the first batch of PharmD
students to pursue a six year Doctor of Pharmacy Degree and had graduated the
first batch  in July this year.

He, therefore, called on the Ministry of
Health and related agencies to give the graduates the needed recognition and
incentives to motivate them to help in the delivery of effective pharmaceutical
care.

Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, the Deputy Minister
for Health, said this year’s theme was a bold declaration of the expertise and
competencies of the pharmacists and urged them to put in their very best in
helping to meet and address the needs of every Ghanaian who needed their
services.

“With this expertise, it should be the resolve
of every pharmacist that no patient who is prescribed medications should leave
the healthcare facility without seeing the pharmacist… With your expertise, I
challenge you to devise strategies to treat patients with co- morbid and
complex conditions by tailoring your education to optimize patient care,” he
added.

He pledged the Ministry’s preparedness to
continue to make policies that would aid in continuous improvement in the
skills, competencies and expertise of the Ghanaian Pharmacists.

There would be activities such as deworming
exercise in Orphanages; public education, health talks on various Radio
stations, medical outreach across the entire 10 regions to commemorate the
week-long celebration.

GNA

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