Pharmacists advocate regulation of online pharmacies
The African Pharmaceutical Forum called on drug regulators in Africa to enact laws to guide the practice of internet pharmacy on the continent.
APF President Dr Prosper Hiag launched the appeal at the association’s 2021 Regional Hybrid Workshop held in Lagos.
The theme of the workshop was “Technological innovations for pharmacy in Africa in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Hiag lamented the indiscriminate online advertising and sale of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, saying drug regulatory authorities on the continent should strengthen enforcement of necessary laws on the advertising and sale of drugs.
“The viral pandemic has led to an increase in the use of technological innovations in the pharmaceutical sector.
“The pandemic has also provided African countries with the opportunity to develop local solutions based on information technology that can help them better reach and serve patients,” Hiag said.
Keynote speaker Dr John Marfo, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, urged pharmacists to be more proactive in using technological innovation to improve their services.
He said: “Pharmacists must also build on the lessons learned during the pandemic, especially in the area of digital knowledge. The survival of pharmacists and drugstores largely depends on how pharmacy practitioners leverage technology for growth.
“The use of certain digital applications has made it much easier for pharmacists to communicate with customers in the heat of COVID-19 when physical meetings were restricted; some applications could be adapted and adopted as appropriate by practitioners.
He stressed the need to adopt technological innovations in medicine logistics and supply chain, adding that this would help solve the problem of uncoordinated medicine distribution channels in many African countries.
Marfo also urged African drug regulatory agencies and academic institutions to ensure that the training of pharmacy students and practitioners is in tandem with current and appropriate technological innovations.
All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the express prior written permission of PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]