- “These guidelines are of great importance since at the moment, there is a serious issue of drug-related mobility or deaths that occur from this one. So, the guidelines will address safety issues,” Ndemo said.
Medications are considered as the third cause of deaths in the country, Pharmacy and Poisons Board Training and Assessment Technical Committee Chairman Prof Francis Ndemo has said.
Ndemo said the situation had prompted the government to develop guidelines on good pharmaceutical practices in Kenya to ensure drug safety with the intent of reducing drug-related deaths.
“We are here in a workshop trying to develop a document that will guide pharmacy practice in the country. Medications now are considered as the third cause of death,” Ndemo said.
He addressed the press on the sidelines of a three–stakeholders workshop on guidelines for good pharmaceutical practices in Kenya at Machakos Hotel on Tuesday.
The ongoing workshop has been organized by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
The USIU School of Pharmacy Dean said there are safety issues in pharmaceutical practices in the country.
“So, we are trying to come up with a document or guidelines that will help us to ensure that we give the best services for this country,” Ndemo said.
He said various stakeholders including members from schools of pharmacy, county and sub-county representatives, legal representatives and all those stakeholders that impact on the provision of pharmaceutical care were in attendance.
“These guidelines are of great importance since at the moment, there is a serious issue of drug-related mobility or deaths that occur from this one. So, the guidelines will address safety issues,” Ndemo said.
“There are also cases where drugs are expiring and costing billions of money. Other issues are; supply chain management, and manufacturing of high-quality pharmaceutical products. These will also be addressed,” Ndemo said.
Ndemo said primary health care was a major focus under the Universal Health Care.
“We have the issue of public health as an issue, and we would like pharmacists and pharmacy technologists to be more engaged to provide to the country primary health care as well as public health,” he said.
The expert said once they get stakeholders’ input on the guidelines, the document will be taken back to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
He said the guidelines will touch on policy, legislation, rules and regulations. The document has been in the drafting stage for the last year.
“This document is yet to be completed, that’s why we also have legal representation to help us in the service that we want to deliver that is anchored in law,” Ndemo said.
Ndemo said as a Board. They did benchmarking with other countries to ensure they came up with the best document contextualizing the Kenyan situation.
He said the process would take six months to one year for the document to be completed.
“It’s important to note that I’m speaking on behalf of the pharmacy fraternity. That, medicines being the most widely used interventions in healthcare, it’s important that we pay attention. In as much as they are good interventions, they also carry lots of risks,” Ndemo said.
“So, what we are doing now is to articulate the levels of practice so that we can train the pharmacy personnel to attain those qualifications required to provide care to our patients.
Traditionally, pharmacists were never responsible for drug therapy outcomes, this was the responsibility of the medical doctor. But, now, we realise that if you don’t monitor these medications, you get poor outcomes,” Ndemo said.
Ndemo said once the guidelines are completed and operationalized, pharmacists will be held responsible for what happens to the patients.
“They will have shared responsibilities. But, these will be to ensure that the drug therapy that the patient is getting is; the most appropriate, service possible and patient is willing to get instructions for the best outcomes. So, there is risk responsibility,” he said.
He said they were now patient-centred and taking responsibility.
“The focus is now on medication use,” Ndemo said.