The Pharmacy Council has instituted a new licensing regime for pharmacy technicians seeking to practise in Ghana.
As part of the new regime, prospective practitioners will have to sit for the Ghana Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination (GPTQE), after which they will be licensed to practise.
This forms part of measures by the council to ensure standards, as well as streamline activities of pharmacy technicians in the country.
It is also to sanitise the pharmacy technician space and weed unqualified individuals out of practice to derive efficiency.
Addressing the media in Accra last Wednesday, the Deputy Registrar for Professional Development at the council, Albert Wiredu Arkoh, said the maiden edition of the GPTQE would come off on October 22, this year.
He said about 300 candidates were expected to take part in the maiden edition of the examination, after which those who were successful would be licensed to practise.
Mr Arkoh explained that there were three different layers of personnel in the area of pharmacy practice in the country, whose activities were critical and important for effective healthcare delivery.
That, he said, were pharmacy professionals, medicine counter assistants and pharmacy technicians.
“For the professional pharmacy and medicine counter assistant, all persons who want to practise in that space are licensed, and including pharmacy technician, completes the reform processes,” he said.
Mr Arkoh explained that for one to qualify to practise as a pharmacy professional in Ghana, one must write the licensure examination, known as the Ghana Pharmacy Professionals Qualifying Examination (GPPQE).
Similarly, he said, those who practise as medicine counter assistants must write the Ghana Medicine Counter Assistant Examination (GMCAE).
The Head of the Education, Training and Research Department at the council, Cynthia Yeboah Mintah, said since 2014, the council had been grand-parenting pharmacy technicians from the various accredited training institutions, and after their 12-month experiential training, they applied to the council for licences to enable them to practise as pharmacy technicians.
She said from 2014 to date the council had licensed 2,480 pharmacy technicians who were spread across all the facets of pharmacy practice.
She said the licensure examination to be held in October this year would now form part of the registration process for the pharmacy technician, as was done for pharmacists and other pharmaceutical support staff, such as medicine counter assistants.