(By Adebayo Oladejo)
Pharm. Olasunkanmi Ademola Adewuyi is the managing director, Solaris Pharmaceuticals Limited, Osogbo, Osun State. In this interview with Pharmanews, the Osun State based pharmacist spoke on pertinent issues relating to community pharmacy practice, especially in Osun State.
How would you assess community pharmacy practice in this part of the country?
Community pharmacy practice in this part of the country is interesting and, at the same time, challenging. Interesting in the sense that community pharmacists are well-recognised by the general public as healthcare providers, who they can approach for their health needs, and this gives us satisfaction, as practitioners. Meanwhile, it is challenging in the sense that setting up and maintaining a good community pharmacy is capital-intensive and, sometimes, a lot of resilience, patience and hard work are required to succeed in the practice.
Tell us about some of the challenges you have faced in your practice and how they were surmounted.
One of the challenges I faced was getting enough capital to start and maintain a standard community practice. Though I still contend with that, I have made considerable progress by resorting to bank loans, cooperative societies, selling business ideas to acquaintances who invest their money in the business, etc.
Another challenge I faced was change in government policies,which affectedthe business environment generally. Due to government policy change, we had to relocate our businesses to an entirely new community, and that means we were starting almost all over again.But we were able to overcome that by deploying the principle of reproducibility, that is what has been done before can be done again and again by following the former principles. So, we thank God today that we are doing well in the business.
How lucrative is community pharmacy practice business in Osun State?
Lucrative? Well, community practice is very lucrative here in Osun State, provided the pharmacist is ready to pay the price. What I mean by that is that, here, in Osun State, community practice is well-regulated, and if one is ready to play by the rules, there will be no problem, but if not, there will be problems. Also, there is need to pay the price of patience, hard work, resilience and determination, which we have paid in the past. To God be the glory, we are doing fine.
Do you think ACPN, OsunState, is living up to expectations, as the umbrella body for community pharmacists in the state?
I think ACPN in Osun State is really living up to expectations because, through its activities, members have gota sense of belonging. ACPN gives maximum support to its members, when necessary, and in collaboration with PCN, NAFDAC and other regulatory agencies, community practice is being well regulated in Osun State and is doing well.
What are the most common health conditions patients in this area come to the pharmacy for, and why is this so?
One of the most common health problems patients suffer from is malaria, and the reason is not far-fetched. From the nature of our environment, which is creating a fertile ground for the malaria parasite to thrive, because these parasites can only survive in an unfriendly environment. Other common healthcare problems include typhoid, sexually transmitted diseases and so on.
If you were not a community pharmacist, which other areas of practice in Pharmacy would you have considered, and why?
If I were not a community pharmacist, I would have loved to remain in the pharmaceutical industry. The reason is that I love the business aspect of pharmacy practice.
How do you see the war on fake drugs and what other strategies can be adapted to effectively tackle this menace?
I want to believe the government, through its various regulatory bodies, is trying its best to curb the menace. One way I believe fake drugs can better be curbed is to allow the institution of mega drug depots in each state, where all manufacturers and importers of drugs will be able to supply their drugs directly, while wholesalers will go there to source their drugs. Meanwhile, those mega depots should be managed by the government, though private business owner which could be the major investors.