The perception that patients are only interested in buying low-cost medicines is wrong as they are also very much eager to learn the use of these medicines. Thus, providing drug education and information to the patients is the job of the pharmacists.
This was said by the speakers at a seminar on “career guidance/counseling for pharmacist”, which was held at Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sindh (SU) Jamshoro here on Sunday.
The event aimed at underlining the role and importance of clinical pharmacists in changing health care system in Pakistan.
Cooperation among health professionals, communication with the patients and use of medication in accordance with evidence-based guidelines were the three main principles of the Medication Therapy Management (MTM), said the speakers.
Highlighting the importance of the MTM, they were of the opinion that it was a valid tool to maximize the outcome.
In his presentation, Dr. Abdullah Dayo, Dean Faculty of Pharmacy SU told the audience that a number of preventable adverse drugs cases occur in the country each year. “Taking medicines without having proper knowledge of it is like building a house without a plan.” He said.
He said that students must pay attention to anything unusual as it was the demand of the profession. “The doors of a company and jail are both open for you, just choose wisely,” he advised.
He said that the university received over 3,000 applications for admissions every year in the pharmacy department. But it was not possible to give admissions to all of them.
Manager GSK Pakistan Dr. Abdullah Fahim Qureshi said that dissemination of knowledge about patient care pharmacist in Pakistan, increasing interaction and sharing of experiences among pharmacists to find solution to health care issues and challenges, and highlighting the role of clinical pharmacists in the changing health care system were the main objectives of the event.
He said clinical pharmacists were experts in therapeutic use of medications, adding they provide medication therapy evaluations and recommendations to patients and other health care professionals.
Pharmaceutical consultant Dr. Sultan Ghani who came from Canada, said clinical pharmacists were a primary source of scientifically valid information and advice regarding safe, appropriate and cost-effective use of medications.
He said clinical pharmacy practice was chiefly about prescribing drugs, administering drugs, documenting professional services, reviewing drug use, communication, counseling, consultation and prevention of medication errors. “There is a need to amplify the role of clinical pharmacy in health care system. The clinical pharmacist’s role should be central in the countrywide health care systems with accessibility to ensure patient safety and quality of services,” he said.
Guest of honor of the seminar Dr. Muhammad Tanvir Alam said: “people are recognized by their work. It’s not the degree which counts; it’s the person behind the degree which counts.”
He was of the view that one of the reasons why Pakistan was lacking behind in the field was because pharmacists were not considered the final authority. “The legal system should be made stronger.” He said.
He claimed that their respective fields were having ‘opportunities galore’. Dr. Alam called medicine a ‘field of opportunities’, where the serious ones would have places to go.
“Apart from industry and dedication, the medical profession requires patience and empathy,” he said.
Dr. Muhammad Salih explained that medical professionals were required to be mentally and emotionally strong as they were required to work in the midst of bloodshed. He recalled that some weak students had found it difficult to clear the exams, having been stung by fear psychosis.
Prof. Shaukat Shad said the course could land them with jobs such as drug analysts, quality controllers, and marketers of pharmaceutical products.
“Pharmacists are in a unique position to positively reinforce the need for vaccine therapy,” he said.
“Families want to know what you as the expert think they should do,” he told the participants. He stressed that pharmacists are having a positive impact. “You are front-line. Pharmacists are and will have an increased role in patient wellness.”
Member CLB, DRAP, Karachi Dr. Mouid Ahmed feels pharmacists have a social responsibility to ensure that children receive recommended vaccines. Parents who elect to withhold recommended vaccines from their children place not only their children at increased risk of a fatal infection, but other children and adults as well, he said.
Polio and other devastating infectious diseases have been essentially eradicated thanks to vaccine therapy, He noted. He said society “cannot fall asleep at the wheel” on this issue.
“Vaccines save hundreds of thousands of lives each year,” Dr. Mouid told the participants. He recommended that future pharmacists and current healthcare providers “speak plainly, directly and passionately about vaccine safety and emphasizing the need to vaccinate each and every child.”
Dr. Naheed Memon said that it was an excellent job to organize these kinds of events where physicians, pharmacists, pharmacy academics, students and technicians, microbiologists and paramedics were in attendance in large numbers. According to Him, in the seminar the resource persons gave knowledge to the students of pharmacy SU regarding ‘Clinical Pharmacist in Changing Health Care System of Pakistan’, ‘Role of Pharmacist in Antibiotics Selection’, ‘Impact of Technology in Pharmacy Practice’, ‘Role of Community Care Pharmacist’, ‘Career Path’, ‘Skill Development’, ‘Quality Management System and Pharmacy’, ‘Oncology Practice’, ‘Need of Changes in Current Curriculum’, ‘Advancement of Drug Research for Patient Care and Patient Safety in Clinical Trials’, while the seminar also focused on proper storage of medicine and medication error and its prevention. She said.
Among others Aslam Afghani, Aijaz Ali Shaikh, Sajid Ali Memon, Obaid Ali, Muhammad Ali Lakho, Shuaib Mughal, Shahid Hussain, Yousaf Laghari, Muhammad Khan Kalhoro, Imran Shaikh, Saba Baloch, Rahila Saleem and Farman Bozdar also participated.