doctor-pillsIt has become evident that once a fake or counterfeit medicine slips through the systems and enter a pharmacy, the bulk of the harm has already been done. The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) is therefore launching an initiative called PREVENT.

PREVENT stands for Patients’ Research, Empowerment, Vigilance, and Education through New Technologies. The initiative seeks to prevent as many fake and counterfeit medicines from entering the Ghanaian supply chain in the first place, by improving vigilance, empowering patients, and educating the public through new technologies.

Launching PREVENT has become critical because of the realisation that medicine faking and counterfeiting have become too sophisticated, and the effects are now too dangerous (http://www.safemedicines.org/2012/03/no-drugs-at-all-.html) and complex for one agency or even a group of agencies to fight alone.

Everyone has to be brought on board, and that can only happen through mass education, sensitisation, and empowerment (Learn more about fake medicines here: http://www.safemedicines.org/faq.html). In the same vein, everyone should be given the tools to help maintain the vigilance needed. These tools must be free and widely available. We have settled on social media and mobile phones because of their fast-growing availability and low cost.