PSN To Tackle Economic Volatility In Pharmacy Practice At Kaduna Annual Confab

From Right: Pharm (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), unveiling the conference logo on Monday, while Chief Emeka Duru, Secretary, PSN; Dr. Egbuna Udeorah, Conference Planning Committee(CPC) Head of Exhibition & Un-officio member PSN; from Left: Pharmacist (Dr.) Ejiro Foyobo, Deputy President, South, PSN and Pharm Bankole Ezebuilo, Conference Planning Committee Chairman watch.


All roads lead to Kaduna State for Pharmacists and all stakeholders on Monday, November 4, 2019 for the Annual Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) which would run through Saturday November 9, 2019.

Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, PSN President, at a pre-conference briefing with newsmen announced that the conference with the theme, “Navigating the winds of change in professional practice in a volatile economy,” was structured to address key areas of need towards retooling for best world practices in the coming year; peer review to close up gaps in practice between Nigeria and other countries with better health indices and between states for knowledge transfer from one institution to another; and a platform to showcase research findings, new technologies, pharmaceutical products and consumables.

Ohuabunwa said he would be hosting the maiden conference as President and would be working assiduously with the conference planning committee to ensure a conference of international standard.

“The themes of our conferences always address a pressing need of the time. Given the present economic quagmire we have found ourselves, and its great impact on the health and wellbeing of Nigerians, we have framed our discussion for this conference on pharmaco economics; hence the theme and carefully selected scholar and cultivated speaker, Prof. Pat Utomi, a professor of Political Economy and management expert, to give the keynote address,” he said.

Ohuabunwa said some other brilliant personalities would speak on sub-themes bordering on contemporary issues, adding that Pharm. Bankole Ezebuilo, the Conference Planning Committee Chairman, “would take us through the plans and expectations of the conference at the right time.”

“Gentlemen and ladies of the press, even a common man in the street who does not understand macroeconomics knows that our resources and means of production are dwindling and consequently pressing on every facet of our life, not even sparing healthcare.

“Economic volatility is the new norm so we must begin to change the way we do things. I do not intend to pre-empt the conference keynote address speaker, but to highlight a few points in the direction of the new order,” the PSN president said.

He explained that from the Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978, Bamako Initiative of 1987, Abuja Call of 2006, even 2008 WHO’s reports, primary healthcare reforms has been identified as the main tool to deliver equitable healthcare services to secure the health of communities.

“Primary healthcare is essential to strengthening Nigeria’s healthcare system and a low hanging fruit towards achieving the sustainable development goals. Pharmacists occupy a very strategic position in the primary healthcare delivery pattern of Nigeria, being the most accessible, qualified healthcare professionals, located within 200 meters in our towns and cities.  Unfortunately healthcare in our country is financed by out of pocket expenditure which is inequitable and exposes the people to huge cost burden.

“The impact of this, especially in the present economy, is that it has become difficult to sustain professional practices with poor patronage and the one world order, thanks to technology, closing down on the developing countries.

“Finished products are dumped on us, from other countries at the expense of developing our local brands. Professionals are challenged and beyond the tipping point, resilience will be lost and if not checked, structure and function could be lost. In a nutshell, the winds of change have impacted on professional practice in the following ways:

.Thrown up rife competition: Whatever service you offer today, someone has improved on it at a lower cost.

Pressure on pharmacists to deliver more services: The pharmacy degree alone may not guarantee a progressive career, as same task yesterday may require a different approach today.

Very narrow profit margins: We have issues with regulation of the pharmacy practice space, so charlatans falsify the real cost of pharmaceutical care and products.

Poor wages: This is simple. Most pharmacists are employed by the private sector and you can only pay from what you make.

New frontiers: The exchange rate has made Nigerians consider local options.”

Pharm. Ohuabunwa added that navigation is a must as professionals to cushion and leverage the disrupted practice environment and as such there would be need for the following:

Promotion of wellness against medical care to lessen the burden on the volatile economy.

Co-operation between pharmacists and other healthcare providers for better patient treatment outcome.

Partnership will rule the future as poorly financed enterprises are the first casualties of a volatile economy.

Information technology defines your reach. Any practice that is not IT-driven will struggle as the world is now a global village.

Services must be need driven. This is the time for “ear to ground of the local market,” as the practice pattern or layout in Lagos may not serve Kaduna.

“I can say that pharmacists as well as stakeholders are enthusiastic about this conference given the number of registrations and subscriptions we’ve seen. The government and people of Kaduna are very receptive and in high spirit to welcome us all. Kaduna promises to be more than a conference,” Ohuabunwa stated.

Contributing, Pharm. Bankole Ezebuilo, the Conference Planning Committee Chairman, said, “We want to create a special experience in the mind of every individual having on mind that people come for conferences for specific reasons; some come to gain knowledge, some people come to network, some people come to relax, some even take it as a vacation while some even come to take advantage of the unique prices so that they can get drugs at a better price.

“Starting from our key holder address speaker, a renowned professor of Political Economy, you will agree with me that the topic is well accepted, and when you also look at our primary sections, it is going to be pharmacy showing off the calibre of people in that profession.

“A lot of pharmacists in the academia also come to discuss their research work, and fortunately for us in the profession a clinical pharmacist will also come in to talk about new development and antics, which is already going through half past clinical trial.

“So these are the kind of things delegates experience in our conference; if you are to update your knowledge, we are stuffed with a lot of knowledge to pass down.

“Then if you are also coming to network, this is an international conference where we are having a lot of pharmacists, pharmacies, from the U.K. from U.S. coming to Nigeria. So it is an opportunity for Nigerian pharmacists to collaborate, network, partner and also find out better ways to do their practice and better ways to do business with people outside as networking is also key for this conference.”

Ezebuilo added, “If you are coming to the conference to relax, starting from the opening ceremony, for the first time, we are introducing comedian. We are going to have a drama on drug abuse because drug abuse is disastrous in the country; so we are going to have a drama on drug abuse on our opening ceremony day.

“So if you are in our conference to relax, we are going to make sure that you relax with the kind of activities we are going to introduce as there will be a lot of fun activities. Then if you are coming for vacation, we have our excursion site where you can see tourist and tradition attractions.

“Community pharmacists and pharmaceuticals will also take advantage of retail prices pharmaceuticals companies are going to offer. It is in two ways, the pharmacists that are buying these drugs will benefit and the pharmaceuticals that are selling these drugs will also have return on investment.

“For us to achieve that, we have created an international inclusion site, three thousand square metres. And in these three thousand square metres, we have created curtailed area; lounges where people can actually seat down, discuss and transact business, in a serene environment.

“Our exhibition area is an international standard exhibition area, and business will be transacted in the serene environment. We have also looked at what are we going to do to make coming to Kaduna easy for delegates. We have engaged the Nigerian Railway Corporation for discussion and we have put couches down for delegates. So they can come to Kaduna if they want to pass through Abuja to Kaduna, they have to board the train at the same price that the railway is charging but what we have done is that we have eased the issue of stress of coming to Kaduna and standing in queue. So on Monday, 4th of November by 6 a.m., 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. we have these coaches reserved for pharmacists, so they can easily come in to Kaduna.”

Ezebuilo also talked about the mobile app that would enable pharmacists to check in for the conference and decide the administration they are going to pick their material.

“In that app also you can also watch what is happening in the conference without being in the conference, our YouTube, twitter and social media will be all on.

“We have shuttle buses that will also take delegate from their hotel to the event centre; it will run at intervals, so delegates wouldn’t experience the stress of running round to look for buses that would take them around.

“We have also brought in things like Uber in Kaduna; we have 50 luxury vehicles that would, that if any delegate wants to do any private business in Kaduna, they will have the comfort they want all at a very affordable price.

“With all these, the security issue, I know is of concern, as our president has said. All security agencies in Kaduna are working tirelessly to make sure that Kaduna is safe for delegates. All these provisions are made so that delegates will have a stress-free stay in Kaduna.”


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