The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is in the process of drafting new guidelines on good pharmaceutical practices in Kenya.
The Board’s Chairperson of the Training and Assessment Technical Committee Prof. Francis Ndemo has said the guidelines seek to improve the quality of pharmacy practice and training.
He said medication is now the third leading cause of death in the country hence the need to address drug safety and inappropriate use of medication.
“Drug related morbidity is on the rise and these guidelines will help us ensure that we give the best pharmaceutical care in the country,” said Prof. Ndemo.
Speaking in Machakos during a stakeholders’ forum, the chairperson, who is also the Dean of, the School of Pharmacy at United States International University (USIU), said besides the safety issue the guidelines, the Board would also address manufacturing of poor quality drugs, supply chain management and primary healthcare as envisioned in the Universal Health Care (UHC).
“Pharmacists and pharmaceutical technologists need to be more engaged in the provision of primary healthcare. We intend to come up with the best guidelines for pharmaceutical care and we have benchmarked in other countries for the best practices,” said Prof. Ndemo.
He noted that medication is the most widely used intervention in health care and called on stakeholders to pay more attention and articulate the levels of practice for pharmacy personnel.
“Medicines being a good intervention in health care also carry a lot of risks and there is need to have personnel that can offer the best care to the patients,” he said.
Prof. Ndemo noted that pharmacists would have shared responsibility with medical doctors on drug therapy outcomes.
“Pharmacists were never responsible for drug outcomes. This was the responsibility of the medical doctors. However, medication if not properly handled or monitored may not have the best outcomes,” he noted.
The chairperson added that pharmacy personnel should ensure that the medication given is the most appropriate, safe and the patient is able and willing to comply with the instructions given.
“Initially, pharmacists were seen as product based but we are now centred on the patient and taking responsibility of medication use,” noted Prof. Ndemo.
He said the Board has between six months to one year to complete drafting of the guidelines.