Adhere to standards of practice, over-the-counter medicine sellers urged

BY: Agnes Melissa Yovo
 Some delegates at the Over-The-Counter Medicines Practitioners regional congress
Some delegates at the Over-The-Counter Medicines Practitioners regional congress

Over-the-counter medicine sellers have been charged to ensure that their services meet the standards of quality service in healthcare delivery.

Addressing the 15th congress of the Volta Regional branch of the Over-The-Counter Medicine Practitioners Association (OTCMPA) in Ho, the regional Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Dr Divine Azameti, indicated that adhering to the standards of quality service delivery would enable the members to provide good care to the citizens.

Dr Azameti told the members to focus on their attitudes, ethics, functions, role and skills with the goal of achieving proper accountability of medicine management and administration.

He further advised them to update their knowledge of current policies and protocols when it comes to referring patients and clients to the hospitals as they are "the first on the ladder of referral”.


The congress, which was on the theme: "The role of over-the-counter medicine practitioners in the healthcare delivery in Ghana," brought together pharmaceutical companies including Tobinco and Kinapharma, the Regional Pharmaceutical Council members, the association’s members from the Volta and Oti regions, and students from the Ho School of Hygiene.


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Addressing the participants, the National President of the association, Alhaji Hassan Carbo, urged over-the-counter medicine sellers who have not been licenced to operate to obtain the required authorisation in order not to defy the regulations of the association.

"If you believe you are a practitioner, you do not have to operate your shop without a licence and without authorisation from the Pharmacy Council," he emphasised.

Alhaji Carbo said the association has over 15,000 members, adding that efforts were underway to get a permanent secretariat to enhance the smooth running of its operations.

The acting Volta Regional Chairman of the association, Mr Theophilus Ricky Dzadey, disclosed that the association had provided licences to about a thousand applicants in the region but only 400 seemed to be actively practising as over-the-counter medicine sellers.

He said it was important for the association to earnestly keep working hard in order to attract new members and end the menace of drug peddling in the country.

As part of the congress, new regional executives were elected and inducted into office.