The pioneer President of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists & Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA), Pharm. Nnodum Iheme, has commended the leadership of the association from inception till date, saying the association has not only lived up to expectations but has also surpassed expectations.
The NAPPSA pioneer president made the remark recently while responding to questions from Pharmanewsonline in Ohio, United States of America. He specifically said the association is still in line with the aspiration he had about 17 years ago that engendered the formation of the association, adding that the association has grown beyond what he anticipated.
While going the memory lane on how the association was formed, Pharm. Iheme recalled how he initiated NAPPSA. He said “Yes, I did initiate the NAPPSA. I invited people to be part of it. I visited the publisher of Pharmanews, Pharm. Ifeayi Atueyi in his office, and it was one of the best visits that we had then. Basically, we were yearning for something that could unite us. We were looking for an association where we have people who are honest, where we would have people with whom we can build professional relationships and be able to create other businesses, and that was exactly what I desired”.
On the actual goal upon which NAPPSA was formed, Pharm. Iheme recalled “From the onset, the actual goal, just like I have told many people, I didn’t really want a pharmacists’ association because pharmacists’ association can never succeed. This is because pharmacists are usually busy, so instead of only a pharmacists’ association, I wanted an organisation that brings everybody from regulatory sciences to academia, to people in the industry, including product managers. We don’t care whether you are a pharmacist or not. The idea was that once you are in the industry and have value to add, you should be a member of the association, and that was how I was able to gather a lot of people, and formed the board in 2005. We operated for about one year and then decided to have a conference in 2007. By the time I met with the publisher of Pharmanews, Pharm. Atueyi, and late Dr Uford Inyang, everything was set and that meeting was the most gratifying”.
On whether NAPPSA has lived up to expectation, the pioneer president said “Yes, NAPPSA has lived up to expectation. NAPPSA is in a good hand because the association has become a resource for pharmacists, and scientists from all kinds of fields, from mentoring to job offerings and opening of businesses. At NAPPSA, you always have people that are ready to support you. When I started my own business, I had no one to support me or give advice; I was just in an island but now we have contacts that cut across. Today, we have an endowment going up to N1 million. I must confess that NAPPSA has gone beyond what we anticipated”.
While assessing the relationship between NAPPSA and the Nigerian Pharmacists Association of Tampa Bay, popularly called TAMPA, Pharm. Iheme said “In life, there are different ideas, we are all thinking about the good of our people, but the issue is, do you have the competency, the capacity to achieve it? If you have an association that has existed for 20 years and you cannot achieve anything, why not rethink and strategise? Currently, the other association you mentioned cannot do what we have done. We have many people in NAPPSA. Most of the progressives are in NAPPSA and the association is thriving. You can begin to look at our endowment. The journey has been an interesting one. If TAMPA wants to join NAPPSA, they can come on board. We will welcome them. Yes, they started the Nigerian Pharmacists Association in TAMPA, but I didn’t want that kind of association”.