The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has admonished young pharmacists in the country to avoid practice that could tarnish the image of the pharmaceutical profession.
Shun unethical practices, PCN urges graduating pharmacists – As UNILAG Pharmacy Faculty inducts 138.
Speaking at the induction and oath-taking ceremony for 138 graduands of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Akoka, on 5 March 2015, PCN registrar, Pharm. N.A.E Mohammed, charged the newly robed pharmacists to distinguish themselves from those who had gate-crashed their way into the profession.
Stressing that the intruders’ primary concern is making money at all cost, Mohammed noted that this was the bedrock of fake drugs in Nigeria.
“As young professionals, please ensure you do the right thing,” he urged the graduands.“If you are caught in a desperate attempt to use your licence in unethical practice, you will be in trouble.”
While explaining the danger of compromising one’s integrity in the profession, the PCN registrar spontaneously asked how many of the graduands understood the meaning of ‘Register and Go’. Scores of hands went up in response, to the admiration of the registrar.
Mohammed also congratulated the parents of the graduands for encouraging them to complete the first phase of pharmacy training, saying that the second phase is the mandatory one-year internship training programme under the supervision of a registered pharmacist in an accredited internship training facility.
“What I see in many of you are personalities that are looking for unforgettable adventures. The Nigerian health care delivery arena is full of untapped opportunities that are wrapped in countless but surmountable challenges,” Mohammed told the young graduates.
The PCN chief executive officer further observed that brain drain had orchestrated shortage of pharmacists, as many had migrated to other countries in search of better remunerations, state-of-the-art facilities and conducive working environment.
He added that even within the country, pharmacists were walking away from the health sector to other more attractive sectors such as telecommunication and petroleum.
“I am happy to note that most of them are coming back to their first love – Pharmacy. As you can see, Pharmacy is not boring because you will forever be learning about new people, organisations, places and methods of doing things…the PCN is aware of the challenges posed to pharmacists by the dynamics of the practice, tech advancement, increasing disease burdens, adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, drug resistance among others,” he said.
Congratulating the graduands, Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, dean of the faculty, explained that the occasion was not only meant to reflect on the past, but to prepare for the future.
“You will be faced with so many obstacles but with these challenges come opportunities for leadership and innovation. As pharmacy profession continues to evolve, remember the oath and commitment to patient care,” she said.
The dean also charged the newly inducted pharmacists to remember that their strength as pharmacists lay in their being experts in the safe and effective use of medicines and their potential contribution and integration into health and social care teams.
According to her, the profession of pharmacy is currently in a dynamic era, as it attempts to transform the role of the pharmacist from a product-oriented practitioner, concerned only with medication distribution, to a patient-centred practitioner able to meet the complex drug therapy needs of individuals and society.
“No matter where your career takes you, don’t forget that as University of Lagos-trained pharmacists, you must proudly represent the royal purple and remember that what starts here changes the world,” she stressed.
The induction ceremony saw the emergence of five first class graduates – Odunayo Abdulai, Innocent Ijeoma, Chinwe Obiakor, Omoshola Kehinde and Isilamiyat Rufia. Of the five, Odunayo Abdulai was announced the best graduating student. Not only was the young brain given a cash reward but she equally claimed every available prize in sight –the PCN, HealthPlus, Dean and Pfizer Science awards.
The colourful ceremony equally witnessed a massive turnout of participants, including professors, faculty members, pharmacists in academia, pharmacy students, parents, as well as top officials of the PCN and the PSN.