November 24, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone says it would introduce some new measures and licensing requirement to regulate the retail, wholesale and import of pharmaceutical products into the country by next year.
Registrar Wiltshire Johnson said the new measures were geared toward improving standards in the pharmaceutical sector and to further strengthen the health and wellbeing of the citizenry against counterfeit drugs and drugs peddling.
Johnson made this disclosure yesterday at a meeting with stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector on post-Ebola recovery measures and licensing requirement for 2016 at the YWCA hall, Brookfields, Freetown.
He opined that when operational, the new measures would improve on pharmaceutical practices and regulations by insisting on proper standards in premises where pharmaceutical services are being rendered, as well as strengthening human resource capacity delivery in pharmaceutical care nationwide.
He revealed that beginning next year, pharmaceutical businesses must install landline phones and full internet service for technicians and auxiliary workers to enable them conduct research into drugs and effective prescription to the public. He also urged that Importers must stop selling as retailers and now operate an office and warehouse, rather than a shop.
Mr. Johnson told over two hundred pharmaceutical business people in the country that the board would be embarking on the new measures to ensure that people were healthy and to protect retailers from wholesalers. He noted that it was the duty of the business sector to ensure that laws are respected as issues of quality assurance and good medicines are two major issues that they are trying to address.
Johnson also noted that importers of pharmaceutical products must first get an import clearance from the board before bringing in any containers, unlike the past when they would ship in containers before declaring their content, as aprt of the new measures.
He called for good collaboration between the board and businesses in a bid to maximise economic benefits for both parties.
“Before now the business was good, but now we are seeing all types of quacks going into the business,” says the Registrar.
However, some of businesses have pleaded with the board to give them grace period until 2017 before the new policy takes effect, as according to them the Ebola crisis dealt them severe economic blow.
Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Business Association, Ibrahim Jalloh of A.K.J. Enterprises on 21 Lumley Street, said the laws were good but the board must look at their constraints and allow them to recoup their loss before implementing the new policies.