Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. N. A. E. Mohammed, has stated that it has commenced drastic measures against the activities of pharmacists who subvert the tenets of the profession for their own selfish gratification.
The PCN boss, who was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of Pharmacy Week, held by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos on 14 August, at the Welcome Event Centre, Lagos, disclosed the successful operations of the PCN in Osun and Ekiti States, adding that the Lagos drug market in Idumota would soon be nonexistent.
“We are not saying people should not do business,” said Mohammed. “We are only saying that if you must do business in Nigeria, you must do it rightly and legally, because the health of Nigerians is more paramount than any selfish gain. They are in there to make money, but we are there to ensure compliance to Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP)”.
Mohammed further described the theme of the programme, “Good pharmacy practice: The key to better health outcomes”, as a burning issue which aligns very strongly with his Four-Point Agenda for pharmacy profession in Nigeria. He explained GPP as defined by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) as “the practice of pharmacy that responds to the needs of the people who use the pharmacists’ services to provide optimal, evidence-based care. It focuses on what is done for the patients.”
He emphasised the significance of GPP to the pharmaceutical profession, noting that it resulted from the enduring efforts of the FIP to raise the standards of pharmaceutical services to meet contemporary needs at both hospital and community settings, as well as providing a template of good practice guidelines for member states to adopt.
The PCN registrar equally noted that the gap between the proven efficacy of medicines demonstrated in clinical trials and their actual effectiveness in practiceoften hampered the potential benefits of medicines from being realised.
He consequently stated that to bridge the gap, pharmacists must be more proactive. “Pharmacists should wake up and do their responsibilities, because there are lots of areas where the system needs them in drug formulary and patient monitoring; they need not confine themselves to drugs supply and dispensing alone.”
Also speaking at the event, DrAjiboye Wale Timothy, a clinical pharmacist with Chevron Hospital, made a presentation on the sub-theme, “Using evidence-based data as tool for good pharmacy practice.”
He defined evidence-based medicine as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient,”noting however that the practice is fraught with several issues, including environmental limitations; egotistical factors; inexperience and inadequate exposure; as well as unavailability of evidence to guide decision-making.
The Chevron clinician urged all stakeholders to embrace evidence-based medicine and systematic research data at all levels of practice, stressing that it had the capacity to boost optimal patient care outcomes.
Appreciating the presence of all members and guests, Lagos PSN chairman, Pharm. Gbenga Olubowale, who was the chief host of the event, validated the choice of the theme,noting that the basis of all pharmaceutical intervention is “Good Pharmacy Practice”.
He further expounded the gains of adopting the concept of Good Pharmacy Practice which he said would guarantee the delivery of best practices from pharmacists at all times to the public.
Olubowale equally disclosed that the event would serve as an avenue for the inauguration of the Council of Merit Award Winners (COMAW) of the Lagos PSN.
“This is a novel idea that we hope will bring together all merit award winners (MAW) of the PSN Lagos, so they can start working together for the betterment of PSN Lagos in particular and the society at large,” he said.