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The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone concluded three days nationwide training for healthcare professionals on detecting, identifying and reporting adverse drug reactions. The training took place between Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th June 2017. 

In his opening statement during one of the training sessions held in Freetown, the Registrar of the Pharmacy Board, Pharm. Wiltshire Johnson stated that the training was long overdue as adverse drug reactions is one of the major health issues around the world adding that detecting, identifying and reporting ADRs should be one of the key objectives of all healthcare professionals.

The Registrar of Pharmacy Board Pharm. Wiltshire Johnson and a cross section of healthcare professionals

during one of the training at Ramsey Laboratory  Conference Hall, Liverpool Street, Freetown

The Registrar called on all patients to access their medicines from the formal health care sector stating that if they buy their medicines from hospitals and licensed premises they will get well because such premises are monitored and regulated on routine bases. He added that the country is facing an unfortunate situation being that we are having an increasing degree of antimicrobial resistance and sometimes therapeutic failure not because the medicines are not good but rather the medicines may not have been stored properly and more often because people may have been using the wrong medicines for the wrong disease.  He added that many of the problems we are having with medicines today is not the quality but the safe and effective use of medicine and this he stated is where the issue of drug reaction and post-market surveillance comes to play. He reiterated that having good quality medicines in the market is just one aspect of the drug supply chain but more importantly is how to use medicines rationally. He added that 15% of hospitalizations today are due to irrational use of medicines. He concluded by stating that detecting, identifying and reporting adverse drug reactions will make healthcare professionals better clinicians.

Pharm. Onome Abiri, Head of the Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Trials Department of the Pharmacy Board stated that failing to report ADRs have made patients suffer severely adding that some have even resulted in loss of lives. He said it is important to know about ADRs and to be able to detect, identify and report them. He noted that many patients have suffered from drug-induced diseases stressing that healthcare professionals are obliged to not only treat the disease but also to diagnose, manage and report ADRs no matter how minor they are. He said medicines are supposed to save lives but in a number of cases that have not been the case as some patients are being admitted for ADRs.

Pharm. Alphan Tejan Kella and Pharm. Sheku Mansaray conducting training sessions for healthcare

 Professionals at the  Magburaka Primary Healthcare Conference Hall, Magburaka

He stated that healthcare professionals need to do more about drug safety monitoring in the country. He said the country faces the challenges of predominant rural population, use of traditional medicine, under/poor reporting, lack of physicians/pharmacists/nurses and consumer awareness.

Pharm. Abiri concluded by stating that the regulatory impact of reporting adverse drug reactions cannot be underestimated as it leads to label change in medicines, change in indication or dosage schedule, product withdrawal, suspension of marketing authorization and request for active monitoring studies. 


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