The Pharmacy Council on Wednesday inducted 205 newly qualified and registered pharmacists into active service.
The inductees who had completed their faculty training and had undergone a year’s internship programme also passed the Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination.
They were all awarded certificates of practice.
Ms Josephine Ataa Hinneh from the University of Ghana won both the John Ocran Award for being the overall best candidate and also the Pharmacy Practice Award in the 2013 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination. She received certificates and a cash prize for each award.
Mr Commey Kindness Lomotey from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Mr Oppong Joshua Sarfo also from the same University were both adjudged best candidates in Pharmacy Law and Ethics Award in the 2013 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination. They both took away a certificate and cash prizes.
For the first time, students from University of Ghana, Central University and the disapora were among the inductees.
Mr Joseph Nyoagbe, Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, said the Council was of the view that the public’s interest was better served when professionally trained and qualified pharmacists were responsible for professional decisions and advice on medications as is the practice globally.
He said apart from the challenge of limited personnel in the pharmacy practice, the Council had also been battling with the issue of quack practitioners and counterfeit medicines that is gradually flooding the Ghanaian market.
He appealed to the Ministry of Health to pay attention to the regulatory sector, especially the Pharmacy Council, by investing more than its current 1.3 per cent of its budget expenditure to all regulatory bodies in the sector.
Ms Sherry Ayittey, the outgoing Minister of Health, appealed to the newly qualified pharmacists to continuously update themselves with new and improved ways to equip themselves with changing needs and best practices.
“There is the need to thus aggressively seek ways to improve upon practice standards in Ghana to adequately provide the best pharmaceutical services,” she said.
She urged the Pharmacy Council to create sustainable avenues and employ multiple tools for the regulation and continuing professional development of pharmacists and the other practitioners to ensure coordination and cooperation with their counterparts in the other parts of the world.
The Minister expressed concern about the emerging health security threat of antimicrobial resistance and urged the Council to help curb the challenges it poses.
“I urge you to educate the public to desist from antimicrobial misuse as well as all the associated problems that comes with it”, she added. GNA