Eminent pharmacists in Lagos State have called on community pharmacists to focus on building capacity in pharmaceutical care for patients’ best outcomes. They spoke at the Inaugural Business Summit of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Abule-Egba, Meiran-Ijaiye, Ekoro, and New Oko Oba (AMEN), Zone, Lagos State, held recently at the Ritas Event Centre, Abule-Egba, Lagos
Some of the speakers at the summit were: Pharm. Gbolagade Iyiola, immediate past chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State Chapter; Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle, chairman, PSN, Lagos State Chapter, Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists (ACPN), Lagos State Chapter; Pharm. Abiola Paul-Ozieh, chairman, the Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN), and others.
Speaking on the theme “Integrating pharmaceutical care as a core business strategy in community pharmacy in today’s rapidly changing and competitive environment”, Pharm. Iyiola, who also doubled as the chairman of the occasion noted that by embracing pharmaceutical care, the sky is not the limit for the pharmacy profession, adding that charlatans are not the problem but pharmacists themselves are the problem of pharmacy.
Commending the innovation behind the Business Summit, he charged the leadership of the zone to ensure that the programme is sustained, noting that as iron sharpens iron, so also it is important that the professionals learn from others so as to better their practice and as well as improve the pharmacy profession.
In their goodwill messages, Pharm. Oyekunle, and Pharm. Ekhator, attributed the lack of adequate pharmaceutical care as one of the factors responsible for Nigeria’s low health index, adding that pharmacy is not only about money making but a professional practice that places priority on the patient’s care.
According to the ACPN boss who was represented by Pharm. Tolu Ajayi, the treasurer, Lagos ACPN, said there is no pharmacy practice without pharmacists, and the practice is not only about drugs but a totality of care. “So, the era of opening a pharmacy and putting one small boy or girl there to attend to clients is over, as the practice is now more about creating value and patients care,” he said.
In her contribution, Pharm. Paul-Ozieh, commended the leadership of the zone for growing it numerically and financially from the inauguration of the zone over 10 years ago, to what it has become today, adding that if they continue in this stride, a glorious future awaits the young pharmacists practicing in the areas.
Speaking further, the HCPAN leader urged the pharmacists in the areas to make good use of the opportunity around them to expand their business, saying the areas under the zone are highly populated and require more presence of pharmacies.
In his welcome address, the Zonal Coordinator, ACPN, AMEN Zone, Pharm. Abiola Egunjobi, described the summit which was the first, after about Five years of its conception by the previous administration as laudable, saying the theme was not only apt but also timely as community pharmacists in the zone are expected to witness significant improvement in their businesses after the seminar and move with the trend.
He further explained that the main motive of the programme was to upgrade the members on the path of excellence in the business of pharmacy, adding that community pharmacists as key players in the pharmaceutical sector need to re-sharpen and revisit their business strategy and take control of the profession.
Delivering the keynote address, Pharm. (Mrs) Olaide Soetan, a seasoned pharmacist, and managing director, NHC Pharma, noted that pharmacy practice should no longer be about the traditional ‘2 in the morning, 2 at night’, adding that a professional pharmacist sees to the total well-being of a patient including patient’s care.
She defined pharmaceutical care as pharmacists’ contribution to the care of an individual in other to optimise medicine use and improve health outcomes, stressing that pharmacy is no longer business as usual.
Speaking in the same vein, Pharm. Isaac Oluwafunminiyi, managing director, De-Omega Healthcare Pharmacy Limited, noted that pharmaceutical care now stipulates that pharmacists not only perform functions assigned to them but take responsibility for functions performed or performed under their supervision.
He also noted that irrespective of the challenges, pharmacists can still find their way in the competitive environment by changing some of the things they do in the past and adopting pharmaceutical care.
On the topic “Winning by Design”, Pharm. Shina Opanubi of Pharmalliance Network explained that to win in a dynamic environment like Nigeria, the practitioners have to be deliberate, adding that the environment here is a dynamic one where nothing is certain.