From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) said there is need to establish and maintain high standard of pharmacy education in Nigeria.
The PSN seeks to achieve this through influencing legislation for the enhancement of the image of the pharmacy profession and through monitoring policies of government which may affect practice.
This was part of the recommendations and observations contained in the communique of the 94th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, between November 1 to 6, 2021, themed COVID-19 Lessons: Broadening and Strengthening the Nigerian Pharmaceutical and Health Sector.
Out-gone President of the Society, Sam Ohuabunwa, who read the communique before the media, said the conference charged delegates to strengthen pharma practice through political action by maintaining high standard of professional ethics in all spheres of pharmacy practice.
The conference (PSN) frowned at some professional bodies acting as interlopers into the pharmacy space, and also noted the harassment some colleagues endured in the hands of personnel who have no jurisdiction to regulate pharmacy practice.
Also, the conference agreed that traditional medicines must be leveraged upon to facilitate medicines security, supply chain production, increase revenue generation through research aimed at product development.
It said that complementary medicines, as they are socalled, should be developed as medicines for health care delivery in Nigeria, not complementary.
“Pharmaceutical companies must look inwards to develop a viable movement from the value chain of agriculture through reliable and effective supply chains to production and finished product marketing. Hence, ensuring that the farm to pharmacy is achieved in a way that adds value to the practice of pharmacy as well as ensures that a robust source of revenue is opened and effectively sustained.”
The conference agreed that pharmacists have ample opportunities to advance public health through immunization advocacy.
It charged pharmacists to utilize potential, actual and latent power to achieve political influence, saying that the society could be a pressure group and, if properly organized, can metamorphose into a political bloc.
The PSN agreed that it was necessary to establish, encourage and strengthen the relationship between pharmacists and other healthcare providers. Also, that members must work to enhance the procurement policy to improve availability of rare drugs such as anticancer drugs.
It agreed to establish and validate the reconstitution process (room and equipment) where formulations are prepared in line with best practices, noting the need for continuous and periodic training of pharmacists and technicians.
The conference agreed on the need for increased specialization in specific specialties, where every pharmacist practicing within the clinical setting must choose a minimum of one area to build capacity on.
Also, the conference advised that the integration of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines into the health care delivery system provides opportunity for patients/ individuals to access alternative healthcare services and facilitate the attainment of universal health coverage.
It recommended that pharmacists should ensure continued education through postgraduate programmes, for specialization and research collaborations.
Highlight of the annual conference was the election of national officers, with Professor Cyril Usifor as the current President. Felix Ndiukwu was elected National Publicity Secretary.