Pharmacists hold education summit to improve healthcare delivery

To proffer solution toward better pharmacy practice in Nigeria as well as boost healthcare delivery in the country, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAP) in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) yesterday, began a three-day Pharmacy Education Summit. 

Speaking to journalist in Lagos on Monday, the President of the Academy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, said the aim of the summit is to carry out situation analysis, identify gaps and proffer solution towards a better pharmacy education and practice in Nigeria. He said the responsibility of the pharmacist have changed from mere drug dispensing to collaborative medication management with physicians and other health care professionals. “Approximately one-half of patients visiting a community pharmacy have complained of inappropriate drug therapy thus necessitating the need for the changes in the role of the pharmacist. 

The goal of this summit is to maximize the pharmacist’s role in direct patient care, thereby empowering the pharmacy team to take responsibility for medication use outcomes by improving health care team integration and promoting pharmacist training,” he said. Adelusi-Adeluyi, also said the Academy is a strategic organ of pharmacy in Nigeria and is made up of successful senior pharmacists who have distinguished themselves in the corporate world, in academia and public service and have contributed to nation-building. The summit which was the first outing of the Academy had all arrangements put in place to ensure great success, commenced with an official opening ceremony at UNILAG Guest Houses/Conference Centre, Akoka, Yaba, yesterday evening. 

Adelusi-Adeluyi, who is also a former Minister of Health, said the Academy provides expert opinion and thought leadership in the education and practice of Pharmacy, adding that NAP aims at promoting harmony and team spirit among members of the health team and other relevant professionals and networks with similar global ‘Academies and partners with relevant regulatory bodies and associations to ensure high ethical standards in the profession,’ he said. The NAP boss said the Academy champions transformational change and innovation through encouraging industry, research and development and seizing the several technological advancement opportunities open to Pharmacare. Adelusi-Adeluyi, who was represented by the Vice President, Ifeanyi Atueyi, said the Summit would carry out situation analysis, identify gaps and proffer solutions towards a better Pharmacy education and practice in Nigeria. 

In his remarks, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo, said: “Over the years, the practice of pharmacy has evolved with significant growth and development mirroring the trends in healthcare delivery. Traditionally, the pharmacist fulfilled the role of apothecary, druggist or chemist by extemporaneously compounding and formulating medicinal products for wholesale or personal use by consumers. These activities have become limited as a result of the emergence of large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing and the introduction of new regulatory standards. Olumide further said: “In recent years, the responsibilities of the pharmacists have grown from the traditional roles of dispensing and compounding, to collaborative medication management with physicians and other health care professionals to ensure optimal health outcomes. Collaborating earlier views, the PSN boss explained: “By some estimates, approximately one-half of patients visiting a community pharmacy or a clinic have experienced suboptimal or inappropriate drug therapy, thus, necessitating the aforementioned changes in the role of the pharmacists. 

“The transition of pharmacy practice from one focused on the provision of medication-centered care to one based on providing patient-centred care was heralded by the introduction of pharmaceutical care in the 1960s. “The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) defines patient-centred care as a practice involving the observation of the patient and his or her contribution to the selection, modification, and monitoring of patient-specific drug therapy through collaborative practice with other healthcare professionals. This model considers pharmacists to be essential members of the healthcare team and has led to an expansion in the scope of pharmacy practice, including legislature for collaborative drug therapy management in some jurisdictions,” he added. The PSN President further noted that the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) has established a movement towards advancement in the manner in which pharmacists practise within hospitals and health systems, with an emphasis on establishing standard patient care services consistently provided by all departments of pharmacy. 

According to Olumide, the goal of this initiative is to maximize the pharmacist’s role in direct patient care, thereby empowering the pharmacy team to take responsibility for medication-use outcomes by improving health-care team integration, promoting pharmacist credentialing and training and taking leadership in medication use. The implementation of this model relies upon advanced training and education of pharmacists.

This story was published in Newswatch Times on April 23,  2015.


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