…As Over 80-year-old Chairman Puts Lives In Danger
Information filtering through says that all is not well with the Pharmacy Council. Insiders tell The Herald, that the Council is presently headed by an over 80-year-old chairman, David Anim Addo, who is almost grounding the Council to a halt. The sad aspect is that some unlicensed pharmacists are operating chemical shops, popularly known as drug store throughout the country
The ineffective chairman and his eight Council members, according to record, were appointed by ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor in consultation with the Council of State, and since then; it has not been reconstituted or dissolved for fresh hands and minds to take over the affairs of the Council.
The Pharmacy Council, ensures that persons desirous of practicing as pharmacists in the country meet certain minimum critical bordering on knowledge, professional skills, competence and mental fortitude. It is made up of nine members.
While the term of office is fixed at three years for five of the members, subject to re-appointment by the president, those not appointed by the President, have no time limitation.
According to this paper’s sources who expressed grave worry over the situation, for instance this year, instead of the three mandatory meetings that were to discuss matters affecting the Council, only one meeting has been held, although the year is in its last quarter.
Two deputy registrars, who were supposed to be appointed by Mr. Addo in consultation with the Council are yet to be appointed, hence tasks that are expected of them are being performed by low ranked officers, this is according to our sources.
This paper was told by insiders that the Council claims that government, has put an embargo on employment, hence, the decision not to fill the vacant posts.
This action has compounded delays at the headquarters in Accra, where several applications submitted for licenses, have delayed for years. Those who were lucky enough to have written the examination are yet to know their fate, two years after they wrote the required tests.
“There are people who have sent applications for the running of chemical shops, they have written the exams and it’s over two years now, but they have not been communicated to as to whether they will be given the license or not”.
It revealed that “for now it is like all over the country, people are operating without genuine licenses, because of the delays …..this is because, when you send it and they are not responding, and the place is far, the person starts operating”.
Signals picked up in various regional offices, indicate that not only are the employees of the Council and potential operators of pharmacies and chemical shops worried over the issues, but they have also expressed the readiness to see the exit of Mr. Addo and his Council.
According to insiders, regional offices of the Pharmacy Council, have almost become elephant as employees, who are paid every month by the government go to work without having little or nothing to do.
Many of the assignments that the regions are required to conduct with respect to their readiness and preparedness of potential operators, have all been carried out and result sent to Accra, and left to gather dust, as you read this article.
Perhaps one area the Council has not failed to act swiftly is the decision to increase fees astronomically for the operators of pharmacies and license chemical shops across board, which is subject to yearly renewal.
The break downs are as follows, until last year, the fees charged for operating a pharmacy at a Central Business District (CBD) was GHC500, but was increased to GHC2.700 for wholesale.
A joint wholesale and retail pharmacy, used to cost GHC600, but has been increased to GHC3.500, while wholesale outside CDB which was GHC300, now cost GHC 25, 000. Retail outside CDB, used to cost GHC120, but was increased to GHC800. These moneys are internally generally and spent by the Council.
In a telephone interview to the Registrar of Pharmacy Council, Joseph Kojo Nsiah Nyoangbo, he admitted to the concerns raised and also mentioned some of the constraints of the Council.
Mr. Nyoangbo, who sounded very apologetic, said one of their main challenges has been logistical.
Other members of the Council are; Edward Mensah Goh, Kwame Ohene Buabeng, James Ohemeng Kyei, John Kofi Obeng, Mrs. Rebecca Nordor, Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt and Prof. T C Fleischer.