The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone (PBSL) on Friday 5 March 2021 completed a six-day quarterly Regional Ad-hoc Task Force Meeting on drugs regulation in all the regional headquarter towns in Sierra Leone.
In a bid to ensuring effective drugs regulation throughout the country PBSL has before now created a network with stakeholders in the regional headquarter towns to support its branch offices with drug regulatory activities. The Paramount Chiefs Chief Administrators Magistrates the police represented by Local Unit Commanders (L.U.Cs) District Pharmacists and others are members of the task force. PBSL engages them on quarterly basis to get updates on their activities regarding drugs regulations in their regions but to also inform them of any new approaches or methods that it might want them to adopt.
Addressing Task Force Members across the country the Acting Registrar of PBSL Dr. James Peter Komeh announced that his Agency has been awarded another International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001's Certificate for its quality management system adding that PBSL still remains the only ISO-9001 certified Government Agency in Sierra Leone.
"Amidst all the challenges that PBSL is contending with including the Covid-19 pandemic that has prevented staff from international trainings and other activities out of the country plus the lack of road worthy vehicles to carry out our activities our quality management system still remains intact and recognized globally " he said.
Dr. Komeh revealed that part of PBSL's regulatory strategy of 2021 is to engage in robust media and sensitization campaign that would educate and inform the general public about substandard and counterfeit drugs and the dangers involved in drugs peddling.
"Our plan for this year is to be more focused on sensitization programs through you and the media. Help us to engage your community people and educate them about the dangers of buying drugs from peddlers. Educating our communities would go a long way into changing their behaviours towards peddlers and substandard or counterfeit drugs " he said.
He reiterated that PBSL has and will never issue licenses to any drug peddler and that the Agency only issues licences to stationed pharmaceutical premises. He therefore urged the Police Heads to order the arrest of anyone peddling drugs describing them as “enemies of mankind.”
Dr Komeh expressed gratitude to the Tax Force Members for “their remarkable contributions towards drugs regulation in their regions”. He urged members to give full update of their activities over the past three or four months including successes and challenges
In his statement to all the Officers in Charge (OIC) of the Regional Offices the Head of the Distribution Chain Inspection Department (DCI) Dr. Nuhu Bah stressed the need for cordial working relationships between the OICs and the general membership of the Tax Force in the regions adding that the OICs would only do a better job with the collaboration of the Tax Force Members since they command great respect amongst their people.
In response to the vehicle challenge mentioned by the Registrar the Regional Commander North-West of the Sierra Leone Police Force Sahr Y. Senesie pledged his support by offering police vehicles to PBSL during raids against drug peddling in that part of the country.
Updates were given by all Tax Force Members including successes and challenges and the PBSL Team promised to look into all of them with the hope of taking necessary actions.
Information & Communications Department