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The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone has on Friday 16th June 2017 commissioned a new laboratory extension worth an estimated 1.2 Billion Leones. The occasion attracted stakeholders from government, donor partners, the international community, civil society, the media and the general public among others.

The Chairman of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone, Pharm. Bassie Turay stated that he is very delighted to have witnessed this historical commissioning as the Pharmacy Board has been gradually growing over the years. He highlighted that the Board has grown from a single apartment building a few years ago to the current multi-purpose structure housing its offices and laboratory. He reaffirmed that the Board will continue to work towards achieving its mandate in helping the nation reach a standardized medical sector that will be effective and efficacious.

The representative of the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Amara Jambai stated that exponential growth been taken place within the Pharmacy Board and the commissioning of the laboratory extension is a clear indication of such growth and effort made by the ministry is promoting the pharmaceutical sector. He lauded the role and efforts of the Pharmacy Board in promoting public health safety in particular and the medical sector as a whole. He said the structure not only addresses the limitation faced by the old premises but also provides for future expansion to deal with regulatory challenges.

The Registrar of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone stated that he is honored and gratified to have spearheaded this project to its completion adding that this was a fulfillment for and behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone in building the national infrastructure for medicines and other healthcare products as a means of building and protecting public health of the citizenry. He informed the gathering that the Pharmacy Board was established by an Act of Parliament in 1988 and was housed in a two-room wooden structure office space that housed the office of the chief pharmacist of the Ministry of Health. Highlighting the historical background of the Board, the Registrar stated that by 1992 the Board had started to function adding that by that time the Board was limited to its regulatory function only being able to perform the role of licensing pharmacy professionals and pharmacies and paper base registration of drugs and medical supplies. He reiterated that since then the Board has been growing to fit into international recognized standards. He stated that by 2006 the government realized the global threat of the proliferation of substandard and falsified products was reaching enormous propensity coupled with the fact that Sierra Leone relied entirely on the importation of medicines established a WHO quality laboratory within the capacity to conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis.

The Chairman of the Pharmacy Board Pharm. Bassie Turay flanked by other members of

 the high table while making a statement to mark the opening of the laboratory extension

 

The Registrar stated that what the Board was able to achieve over the past six years in the regulation of medicines is unprecedented in the history of Sierra Leone and second to none in the sub-region in terms of transparency, efficacy, and quality of work. He said that the Board conducts the inspection of all regulated products imported through the officially recognized formal sector and ensures good manufacture practice of all manufacturing companies that export medicines to Sierra Leone to ensure their quality, safety and efficacy. He added that the Board conducts dossier evaluation and testing of products submitted for registration and implement post-market surveillance programmes for products nationwide and drug safety monitoring of adverse drug reactions. He stated that the Board has established mechanisms to monitor and evaluate clinical trials for Ebola vaccines, diagnostics, and other products. He reaffirmed that the laboratory extension will help to enhance the work of the Pharmacy Board to meet international standards. He concluded by stating that the expanded laboratory is made up of three testing units; the physicochemical, medical testing device and microbiology units reiterating that these facilities are expected to serve at the forefront of public health protection to ensure the availability of good quality and efficacious products in Sierra Leone.  

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