Innovate or Fizzle Out, Oyawole, Adeniran, Others Task Community Pharmacists

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– As Lagos ACPN holds 2020 Continuing Education Conference

Notable personalities in pharmacy practice, including Pharm. Anthony Bola Oyawole, a former presidential aspirant of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Pharm. (Mrs) Bolanle Adeniran, immediate past chairman, PSN, Lagos State; and Pharm. Iyiola Gbolagade, chairman, PSN, Lagos State, have called on community pharmacists to reinvent themselves and upgrade their practice, noting that it is either they innovate or become history.

The dignitaries gave the charge at the Continuing Education Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos State Chapter, held recently at the chapter’s secretariat in Ogudu, Lagos.

According to Pharm. Oyawole who spoke with our correspondent, the conference was timely and apposite, as knowledge gained would help participating pharmacists to keep their businesses afloat during the current pandemic.

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He said: “For any professional, it is about continuous development because the world we are living in today is a changing world and as pharmacists, we must move with the change. The world was greeted with the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then, the whole world has not been the same. So, the only thing we can do to be ahead of our practice is to seek knowledge.”

Oyawole also seized the opportunity to call on government to give community pharmacists the recognition they deserve, saying pharmacists are being made use of judiciously in advanced countries as they are the closest healthcare providers to the people.

Also speaking in an interview with Pharmanews, Pharm. (Mrs) Adeniran disclosed that the continuing education conference was a good avenue to update the knowledge of community pharmacists so that they can remain leaders in the pharmaceutical business.

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She added that lack of updated knowledge makes even a professional become archaic. “Drugs are evolving; diseases are evolving. So, if we stay on what we learnt or acquired in school alone, we would not be able to move with the tide,” she said.

Speaking in the same vein, Pharm. Gbolagade commended the leadership of the ACPN for sustaining the programme which has spanned over ten years, as well as continually enriching its content.

While lamenting the unconducive environment of community pharmacy practice in the state as a result of unfriendly policies and regulations as well as quackery,  Gbolagade advised pharmacists to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the programme to enhance their businesses.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of ACPN Lagos State, Pharm. Olabanji Obideyi, who was represented by Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, the vice chairman, disclosed that the Continuing Education Conference with the theme, “Innovate or Fizzle Out”, was designed to promote professional skills, business strategy skills, and practice skills of community pharmacists, saying it would help community pharmacists to better understand current economic realities and the options available for small and medium enterprises.

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According to him, the programme was initiated to constantly educate members on current changes in the profession and keep them up to date.

“Talking about the theme, ‘Innovate or Fizzle Out’, we are now in a new normal and things are no longer the way they used to be. So, for us to remain relevant, there is a need for innovation and rededication”‘, he said.

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