By Samwel Doe Ouma@samweldoe
Kenya’s apex pharmacist professional body -Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) – is appealing to the government to implement drug tracking technology policy to help safeguard drug supply chain integrity.
This, the body says, will ensure patients access safe and effective medicines.
According to PSK Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Daniela Munene track and trace technology will enable easy investigation of counterfeit products, diverted medical products, pharmacovigilance and product recall.
She added that in line with this year’s World Pharmacist Day themed “Safe and Secure Medicines for All”, patients should always seek the services of a qualified pharmacist to cut on medication errors and help with the safe administration of medicines.
“Drug manufacturers should implement the use of unique identifiers in an attempt to secure the legitimate drug supply chain from infiltration of counterfeit, diverted, and adulterated products,” Dr. Munene said.
Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) – the pharmaceutical industry regulator- defines poor-quality medicines as that which contains fewer active ingredients leading to ineffective treatment. Medicine may also lose their quality and efficacy due to poor storage conditions.
Dr Munene spoke to Health Business regarding this year’s World Pharmacists Day 2019 theme, a bold declaration aiming to promote the role of pharmacists in safeguarding patient safety through improving medicine use and reducing medication errors.
September 25th is observed as the annual World Pharmacists Day.
As medication experts, pharmacists can use their knowledge regarding drug-drug, drug-herb, and drug -food interactions to help them select more appropriate medications for patients, she added.
“As a key member of the healthcare workforce, pharmacists should take lead in patient care by ensuring access to quality medicines, appropriate use, improved adherence, and coordinate care transitions,” she explained, adding that “generic substitution is recommended as part of the pharmacist’s dispensing role.”
She urged Kenyans to always buy drugs from legitimate drug chemists either bearing the Green Cross manned by qualified Pharmacists or Blue Cross outlets managed by qualified pharmaceutical technologists.
Dr. Munene added that pharmacists should always label medicines by writing usage instructions that is clearly understood by the patient.
“To verify competency and legitimacy of the pharmacy outlet and the professional serving you people should always check out for the health safety code provided by PPB and SMS it to 21031 for free.”
Traditionally, individuals perceived pharmacist as a health care professional who wears a white coat and dispenses drugs, the role of the pharmacist expands beyond dispensing drugs and that filling prescriptions.
They are well-positioned to identify gaps in medication adherence and are knowledgeable about cost-effective medication solutions which help in tackling emerging health challenges that come with advanced age, increased cases of renal impairment, presence of chronic disease and comorbidities, the complexity of the patient’s medication regimen, and the administration of high-risk medications.
World health organization (WHO) has recently called on pharmacists to support its drug strategy and urged governments to define the role of pharmacists and make full use of their skills in national drug strategies.