The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone is the medicines regulatory agency in the country and was set up by an Act of Parliament (Pharmacy and Drugs Act 1988 which was later reviewed in 2001) with the mission of ensuring that appropriate and workable regulatory guidelines are implemented in order to achieve the highest practicable standards of the practice of pharmacy by professionals and of safety, efficacy and quality of all drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and nutritional agents (collectively termed ‘products’) locally manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold or used to ensure the protection of the public health as envisaged by the Pharmacy and Drugs Act.
However since its inception in 1988 it was another four years before it started operations, i.e. 1992, at which time it was housed in a single room as a divisional wing of the Directorate of Drugs and Medical supplies.
It is a semi-autonomous agency within the Ministry of Health and Sanitation with a nine man governing Board. The composition of the Board is as follows:
- The Director of Drugs and Medical Supplies – Chairman
- A Representative of the Attorney General and Minister
- A Representative of the faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences College of Medicines and allied health sciences.
- President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Sierra Leone
- Secretary General Pharmaceutical Society of Sierra Leone
- A Pharmacist representing the Pharmacist cadre of the Pharmaceutical Society
- A Pharmacy Technician representing the Pharmacy Technician cadre of the Pharmaceutical society
- Two members nominated by the Minister of Heath and Sanitation representing the general public.
The governing Board is further subdivided into the following committees- Education committee, Quality assurance committee, Human resource and Finance committee, Disciplinary committee and the Expert committee on Drug safety monitoring.
The administration of the Pharmacy Board is headed by a Registrar that is appointed by the Public Service Commission and serves as Secretary to the Board with no voting right. The Board is divided into six Departments- Inspection, Drug Registration and Evaluation, Drug Information and Pharmacovigilance, Policy Standards and Practice, Admin and Finance and Quality Control Departments.
Apart from its headquarters in Freetown the Board operates four regional offices in Bo, Kenema, Kono and Makeni and also two official ports of entry –Lungi International airport and the Queen Elizabeth II Quay.