PHARMACEUTICAL Society of Zambia (PSZ) has urged members of the public to stop buying medicine which is not stored at prescribed temperatures as they risk purchasing poisonous drugs which can kill them. PSZ president Jerome Kanyika said in an interview that people who are in a habit of prescribing medicines for themselves are the most vulnerable.
Mr Kanyika said the medicine is mostly found in illegal drug stores which are operated by unqualified health personnel. “Drugs always have a prescribed temperature at which they are supposed to be stored. But it is surprising to see how people trek to drugstores in the townships to buy self-prescribed medicine when they do not even know the storage temperature. These types of drugs are harmful and can kill a person,” he said.
Mr Kanyika urged members of the public to desist from prescribing medicine for themselves.
He said in most cases, it is people with minor illnesses who choose to buy drugs off the counter, to treat themselves without the doctor’s prescription.
Mr Kanyika said others think buying drugs off the counter is convenient and quick, and they consider going to the hospital a waste of time. He said Government has invested enough resources to put up health centres and deployed personnel in hospitals and clinics countrywide.
“It is unfortunate that most people are ignorant of the dangers of self-prescription, while others feel lazy to go to health centres and queue up. Others are busy and feel the process of going through tests at hospital is not worth it. We need to change this attitude because we are killing ourselves. People should stop encouraging each other to buy drugs off the counter,” he said.
Mr Kanyika said PSZ will partner with Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority in sensitising members of the public on the dangers of self-prescriptions and getting drugs stored at the wrong temperature. He said members of the public need to change their approach to health matters through attitude and behavioural change