PIC: NPC chief Dr Hanifa Namala Sengendo addressing the meeting at the Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo on Thursday. (Credit: Jacquiline Nakandi)
HEALTH | DRUGS
The National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) is in the process of establishing a system where patients will directly report side effects of medicine they have taken.
"This will help us decide whether to keep certain medicines in the market or remove them," Hellen Byomire, the director of product safety and head of the National Pharmacovigilance Centre, said.
Byomire noted that patients have little knowledge about side effects of drugs. She said they plan to educate the masses on different drugs to help them identify side effects quickly and be able to report it.
“The awareness campaign will start soon and it will be done through internet, radio announcements and distribute flyers, among other means. We encourage patients to report directly any suspected adverse drug reactions with extra details,” Byomire said.
She was speaking at the close of the WHO-sponsored 40th international drug monitoring annual meeting at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo on Thursday.
The National Pharmacovigilance Centre is a unit within the National Drug Authority (NDA) which detects, does assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse side effects of drugs.
Dr Hanifa Namala Sengendo, the chairperson of NPC, said NDA will soon start regulating the use of herbal medicine in Uganda to enable users know the side effects they have.
She noted that most herbalists do not indicate the side effects of their merchandise.
PIC: Participants at the event
“This in a way becomes dangerous to the public, therefore, as the pharmacovigilance centre in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, we are working out procedures through which herbal medicine will be legally allowed on the market,” she said.
Sengendo warned that herbal drugs that do not deliver the promised treatment will be banned from the market.
The conference was attended by Participants from over 60 countries. The conference is held annually in different countries that have National Pharmacovigilance Centres.