On 1 October, Pharmanews Limited celebrated its 40th anniversary and the 80th birthday of its founder and managing director, Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi at a memorable ceremony in Lagos. The event was graced by family members, friends and associates of Sir Atueyi, as well a huge number of captains and stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry.
Although the Pharmanews journal actually clocked 40 years of uninterrupted monthly publication in May 2019, the decision to mark the anniversary on 1 October was to combine it with the birthday of the founder, Sir Atueyi. This decision was a fitting reflection of the interconnectedness of the story of Pharmanews with that of the life of Sir Atueyi.
The anniversary celebration was indeed a momentous avenue to affirm the power of divine grace and providence – to which Sir Atueyi attributes much of his success – as well as to highlight the indispensability of purpose, focus, determination and unwavering faith in God in achieving success and fulfilling destiny. Indeed, as Sir Atueyi revealed at the event and particularly in his autobiography, “My Life and Pharmanews” which was launched on the same anniversary day, the journal had to surmount a myriad of challenges to be consistently published every month since May 1979 without missing an edition. Considering the mortality rate of periodicals generally and health publications in particular, the celebration was for all intents and purposes worthwhile.
The importance of building good relationships, through commitment to selflessness, honesty, integrity, genuine interest in the needs of others and consistency in offering value-added services in business, was also brought to the fore through the massive turnout of well-wishers for the October event and the overwhelming support received from within and outside the country. In particular, the turnout of major players in the pharmaceutical industry at the memorable anniversary celebration, 50 of whom were honoured with awards by the management of Pharmanews, added colour and prestige to the event.
The success story of Pharmanews, which has become not just the flagship journal of the pharmaceutical sector but the health sector, has multi-dimensional implications and lessons for diverse categories of individuals and businesses, especially in the pharmaceutical sector. Pharmacists must strive to think out of the box and not confine themselves to the conventional roles that academic knowledge assigns to them. Service to the profession and to humanity, as a whole, which was a factor in Sir Atueyi’s foray into pharmaceutical journalism, must be prioritised above monetary gratifications. Moreover, the place of passion in deciding one’s career path, creating a reputation of integrity and remaining focused amidst oppositions, distractions and adversities is of utmost importance in benefitting from the Pharmanews’ example.
Pharmacists can indeed set good examples to others within and outside their industry on innovative and strategic thinking, as well as the possibility of succeeding without taking shortcuts or delving into unethical practices or outright illegalities. By making the satisfaction of its partners a cardinal objective and center-point of its operations, Pharmanews has risen from being the leading pharmaceutical health publication in Nigeria and West Africa to being a global health journal with a strong online presence and a first choice for players in the industry whenever they want to disseminate health and pharmaceutical information to their various publics.
While Pharmanews is a great example to follow for those desirous of going into health journalism, it must also be noted that the journal itself must continue to evolve in tandem with the dynamic needs of its readers and partners. It must also continue to build the competencies needed to sustain its role as a leader in health information dissemination.