The Ghana Pharmacy Council is a statutory regulatory body established by an Act of Parliament, The Pharmacy Act, 1994 (Act 489).
The Functions of the Ghana Pharmacy Council
The major function of the Council is to secure in the Public interest the highest standards in the practice of Pharmacy.
In addition the Council shall:
- Ensure that courses of study and training in pharmacy at any institution in Ghana guarantee the necessary knowledge and skills needed for the efficient practice of Pharmacy.
- Determine in consultation with the appropriate educational institutions course of instruction and practical training of Pharmacy students.
- Prescribe standards of professional conduct.
- Exercise disciplinary power over pharmacists
- Uphold and enforce professional standards through the disciplinary powers conferred on it.
- Keep a register of duty qualified and practising pharmacists; and
- Regulate the distribution of Pharmacies in the Country.
The Vision of the Council is “To guarantee the highest levels of pharmaceutical care”.
The Council’s Mission is “To secure the highest level of pharmaceutical care by ensuring competent pharmaceutical care providers who practice within agreed standards and are accessible to the whole population. In addition we shall collaborate with related local agencies and international pharmaceutical organizations to enhance our effectiveness and our contribution to rational drug use in the nation. This mission shall be carried out with dedication, integrity, and professionalism.”
The Council consists of nine members (including a Chairman and a Registrar) all of whom are appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State. Membership is statutorily defined. The term of office, subject to re-appointments, is 3 years for five of the members. The others do not have time limitations. They however represent specific entities in the Council. The nine presidential appointees constitute the highest policy and decision-making body. It is headed by a chairman.
To facilitate effective operations of the Council, the Act grants the Council the power to appoint such committees as it may be deemed necessary. The Council has the authority to delegate to these committees any of its functions and other specific responsibilities. These committees may include members and non-members of the Council. A member must however chair them. In addition to the committees, there shall be appointed for the Council such officers as it may require for the effective execution of its functions. Subject to any delegations by the President, the President shall make the appointment of the officers with the advice of the Council given in consultation with the Public services commission.
The Pharmacy Act also requires the Council to establish and operate in each region of Ghana regional offices of the Council. These regional offices are to be staffed by such officers as the Council may require for the effective performance of its functions in the regions.
A regional office of the Council shall perform in the region such functions as the Council may determine. The Council is also empowered to create such lower offices as may facilitate its operations.
The Registrar of the Council is one of the nine members of the Council appointed by the President. The Registrar of the Council must be a registered pharmacist of at least ten years standing as a pharmacist. He/she shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be specified in his/her letter of appointment. The registrar subject to the directions of the Council is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Council.
The functioning of the Council can be described by giving a brief analysis of the different committees and the structure of the administration of the Ghana Pharmacy Council. There are currently six committees of Council, which include the following:
- Disciplinary committee – statutorily set up (Section 23), responsible for enquiries into such matters “relating to professional conduct and standards of pharmacists as may be referred to it by Council”. Its procedures and penalties are prescribed by L.I.1645 (1998).
- General Purpose committee – responsible for dealing with complaints that come against corporate bodies and licensed chemical sellers. Also responsible for making proposals for legislation and law reform.
- Registration committee – considers applications for registration of premises and makes recommendations to the Council.
- Education committee – responsible for professional training of Pharmacists and auxiliary pharmaceutical service providers
- Finance committee – advises the Council on financial matters
- Management/executive committee – comprises the Registrar, deputy registrar and the heads of department and units. Its function includes assisting the Registrar in the day-to-day administration of the Council. The committee also strategizes on the implementation of the Council’s decisions. It also advises the Council on matters affecting the organization as a whole.