– Restates commitment to excellence in pharma education, practice
The Dora Akunyili College of Pharmacy, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State is set to commence the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programme, following its approval by the National University Commission (NUC).
Disclosing this to Pharmanews recently, Dean of the college, Prof. Ighodaro Igbe, said the university will start admitting its first set of students into the newly approved programme in September for the 2022/2023 academic session.
Igbe further stated that the vision of the university is to make its College of Pharmacy internationally acclaimed for research, education and practice, while training the next generation of pharmacists in an inclusive, collaborative and welcoming environment.
In a related development, Igbe declared at a recent public lecture organised by the college that the vision of the university is to make its College of Pharmacy internationally acclaimed for research, education and practice, while training the next generation of pharmacists in an inclusive, collaborative and welcoming environment.
Speaking at the lecture, themed “The Impact of Standards on the Practice of Pharmacy Profession”, with the Director General, Standard organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim as the keynote speaker, the dean also reiterated the commitment of the college to standard pharmacy practice, saying the college had been maintaining high standards in terms of teaching and learning, staffing and infrastructure from inception till date.
The dean also said that the lecture was an opportunity for universities to engage with the government, the business world and the public, to provide information and education, by leading open discussion of issues that confront the nation, the African region and the world at large.
According to Igbe, “The Professional Practice Standards (PPS) are intended to provide guidance on the expected standards of professional behaviour of pharmacists towards individuals, the community and the society.
“As pharmacists, high standards are expected of professionals in delivering our services to individuals and society at large. The standards of the Pharmacy practice should never be compromised. To this end, the college is fully accredited by the National University Commission (NUC) and the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN).
“Since the inception of the college in the 2004/2005 session, Dora Akunyili College of Pharmacy has demonstrated an enviable reputation for producing pharmacy graduates with great prospects of practising in different fields, such as academia, hospital, industries, administration, research and in other human endeavours.”
Commenting on the college’s efforts towards research, Igbe said, “The university management has awarded the college, a research grant worth N5 million, with an initial take off grant of N2.5 million. With this grant, the college’s Cancer and Reproductive Research group is currently working on isolation, characterisation and structure elucidation of isolated bioactive uterotonic compounds from natural products useful in easing labour, reducing postpartum haemorrhage, as well as mother/child mortality/morbidity.”
On staff development, the dean said, “Some members of staff are currently enjoying university-sponsored postgraduate, postdoctoral and research fellowships in different parts of the world. Currently, the Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology is on study leave with pay for a postdoctoral fellowship.
The university management has recently built an automated line situated in the college for the production of disinfectants, antiseptics and laboratory reagents. We have commenced production to meet the immediate aseptic needs of the university. It is also expected that this will become of the major source of IGR for the university.”
In his keynote address at the lecture, the SON DG said standards are particularly more crucial in the pharmaceutical sector given its role in the care of the weak and ensuring that pharmacy practice has zero tolerance for error.
Salim revealed that SON, in collaboration with the ARSO, has developed over 10 standards on african traditional medicine for use in Nigeria. This, he said, is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023, aimed at building knowledge base and formulating national policies.
The SON boss noted that in spite of the great potentials of the pharmaceutical industry in Africa, only 3 percent of medicines are locally produced in Africa.
He added that the target of the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry to provide 60 percent of pharmaceutical products consumed by West African countries is largely dependent on regulatory requirements.
His words: “Given the wide scope of the pharmacy profession which includes the synthesis, efficacy testing, formulation, manufacturing, dispensing, and clinical assessment of drugs as well as handling, you can begin to see the relevance of standards in the pharmacy profession.
“Standards are also applied in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the strength of the active ingredient quality and purity of drugs and other pharmaceutical products. They ensure safe and effective products for patients and form the basis for the regulatory requirements for industrial practice which ensure quality in the entire chain of drug production to its distribution.”
Salim added the agency is always ready to support the pharmaceutical industry with relevant standards and information on international best practices aimed at overcoming technical barriers to trade.