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Medicines control governing council set up to stamp out fake drugs in Gambia

Jan 26, 2015, 10:10 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Thursday inaugurated a governing board for the Medicines Control Agency and the Pharmacy Council.

The board comprises representatives of institutions and offices such as the Office of the President, the Medical and Dental Council, NDEA, Pharmaceutical Society, Veterinary Practitioners Association, Consumer Association, Herbal Practitioners, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, among others.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Health Minister Omar Sey said the purpose of the governing council is to regulate activities of pharmacies in the country.

This is done to address issues of licensing of pharmacies and certificates of both private and public suppliers of wholesale and retail medicines and other medical supplies, and to ensure vibrant pharmacies in the country.

He expressed delight to be associated with “this very important governing council” that would go a long in addressing pharmacies issues and other related drugs matters.

He thanked Cherno Marenah, the Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, for his personal support in ensuring the body secured the required document to operate.

Minister Sey described the establishment of the governing council as very timely, as it was long overdue.

There are many issues related to pharmacies and other drugs-related products, he pointed, adding that was why the government promoted the setting up of a council that would monitor activities of pharmacies and drug issues in the country.

Minister Sey also revealed that the council and agency would be sub-vented from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The permanent secretary (No 2), Office of the President, Ismalia Sanyang, thanked the Minister of Health and Social Welfare for judiciously selecting the membership of the council and the agency in line with the provisions of the medicines Act and related products provisions in 2014.

He thanked members of the agency for their determination, as they look forward to working with them for better results in years to come.

He underscored the importance and the challenges that lie ahead of the agency, adding that they would work with them to ensure the provisions of the agency are met amid other related issues.

With the expertise and calibre of professionals in the council, they would function well and live up to expectations, he said.

Momodou K. Cham, registrar of the Pharmacist Council, who doubles as the chairman of the council, said he was delighted at the support given to the agency by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

He said the body would work very hard to ensure the highest standards of pharmacies are met in the country.

The purpose of protecting the practices is for the protection of the health of the country, he reiterated, while thanking the Solicitor General and Legal Secretary for his tireless effort at ensuring the agency was realised by securing all the necessary documents to get it operational.

“We would like to make the Pharmacies Council of The Gambia the star in the whole of West Africa,” Mr Cham said.