Speakers laud Latif Sheikh’s efforts to promote Hospital Pharmacy, earn respect and recognition for Pharmacists

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 Selected for Donald Frank Medal by ASHP

Speakers laud Latif Sheikh’s efforts to
promote Hospital Pharmacy, earn respect
and recognition for Pharmacists

By Mubarak Ali

KARACHI: M/s PharmEvo in collaboration with Aga Khan University Hospital, M/s Pulse International, PSHSP and PPMA hosted a dinner reception in honor of Mr. Latif Sheikh a well-known Pharmacist of the country at a local hotel here on March 28th, 2018. This event was organized to honour him as he has recently been selected for the Award of Donald Frank Medal by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHSP) for his noteworthy contributions to the advancement of Pharmacy practices internationally. This award will be presented to Mr. Latif Sheikh during the ASHP Midyear Clinical meeting to be held from December 2-6, 2018 in Anaheim, California, United States. The Dinner reception was very well attended by Chief Executives and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, senior executives from Aga Khan University Hospital, pharmacists besides representatives from Academia and senior official from Drug Regulatory Authority, Islamabad.

Mr. Abdul Latif Sheikh, it may be mentioned here is currently President and CEO of the Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists. He was the founding HOD and Director, Pharmacy Services at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, He is a strong advocate of patient safety and believes in promoting quality of care through innovations in medications usage in the health care systems. He has been instrumental in setting up a state of the art hospital pharmacy services, pharmaceutical supply chain systems in countries like Pakistan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. The ASHP has given the prestigious medal and award to only 22 pharmacists of the World since 1971 and Mr. Latif Sheikh is the first Asian to receive this award.


Mr. Johannes Theodorus Kidzierski along with Mr. Toqeerul Haque and Mr. Jamshed Ahmed COO
PharmEvo presenting shield to Mr. Latif Sheikh, at a dinner reception in his honor
held at a local hotel here on March 28th, 2018.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. A. Latif Sheikh thanked all those present and speakers for appreciation, recognition and good wishes by people from different walks of life. I am humbled and honored. Tracing the history of pharmacy, Mr. Latif sheikh said that way back in 1984 when HRH Prince Karim Aga Khan visited AKU, he asked me why I had come from overseas to serve in Pakistan, you are very well settled in New York and don’t belongs to Karachi, what bring you here. At that, I said, His Highness you do not belong to Pakistan but you have spent four hundred fifty million US dollars here setting up the AKU. I am a Pakistani and I also owe something to my country, hence my decision to come back and serve my country and pass on the skills I have acquired should be passed to my country.

Continuing Mr. Latif Sheikh said that during the initial days when we had our budget presentation one of the member said that tell us what are your plans. I explained about clinical pharmacy and medication management and to my surprise he said that Oh Shaddo sheik sahib pora Pakistan puryon mein dawaian day raha hay, aap kahan ki baat kartay hain. At this I made up my mindand said if this is your attitude about the medication management, I think you are wasting my time, you have wasted a lot of resources of the hospital by asking me to come to Pakistan all the way from USA, putting me in a beautiful guest house, you paid my travel, I don’t think it is going to work.

Narrating yet another incident Mr. Latif Sheikh said, once a Medical representative came to me, started telling about the various products, by calling me as doctor sahib. At this I informed the gentleman that I am not a doctor, I am a Pharmacist. At this he started packing his promotional material by saying that if you are not a doctor “pher aap say baat karnay ka kia fiada” and went away. We were getting biological delivered to us from whole sellers, distributors, they bring Ice and insulin separately. While they come in pharmacy store, they say that this guy sitting in the pharmacy is very rude, arrogant and put everything in ice box before delivery.


M/s PharmEvo in collaboration with AKUH, Pulse International, PSHSP and PPMA hosted a dinner
reception to honor Mr. Latif Sheikh a well-known Pharmacist to celebrate his selection for the prestigious
Donald Frank
Medal by ASHSP. Picture shows Mr. Latif Sheikh, Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho, Mr. Johannes
Theodorus Kidzierski, Dr. Sheikh Akhter Hussain, Dr. Kaiser Waheed, Dr. A Q Javed , Dr. M. Khurshid,
Mr. Jamshed Ahmed,
Mr. Haroon Qasim, Mr. Nadeem Mustafa Khan, Mr. Aslam Afghani,
Mr. Shamim Raza, Mr. Nadeem Irfan, Mr. Toqeerul Haque, Mr. Tahir Aziz Mughal
and Dr. Mairaj Shah, speaking at the occasion.

When somebody will write a Pakistan Case Study, about the evolution of hospital pharmacy, medication management in Pakistan, it probably will be classical multi-disciplinary approach which got revaluation, progress and advancement of pharmacy practices in our country. I had the privilege of working with Drug Control Authority, I have never been refused if I had genuine request, may those be critical drugs, and may those be drugs available and not available. He lauded the services of Dr. F. R.Y. Fazli, Dr. Farzana Chaudhary, Mr. Akhtar, Mr. Aslam Afghani and others. Dr. Khurshid is one of the most gracious Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee Chairman I had in my tenure at AKU. I think this recognition is for the people I had worked with; my pride of honor is trainees we have involved. Trainee program we started at AKUH way back in 1988 and there is no hospital in the country who does not have people who are trained by us. Whatever the pharmacy in Pakistan is , it is the input, ideas, the thought the innovations of our trainees , of our people and this tribute should be for the people I had worked with, may that be of regulators, academia, clinicians anybody and everybody who have something to do with medication. This medal should be attributed to them and it was their efforts, mine was just a face in front, he concluded.

Sindh Health Secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho speaking at the occasion deplored that the medication errors including misspelled prescriptions, lookalike medicines and other mistakes committed by the healthcare providers were killing people while pharmacists hired by the government were not given responsibilities, which was a governance issue at the hospital level and should be resolved soon. He informed that there were at least 50 pharmacists hired for the Civil Hospital Karachi alone by the government, but doing nothing. A few months back, a German lady came to me at my office and complained that her husband was killed due to the medication error in the city. When we investigated the matter, it appeared that somebody gave anti-cancer medicine to her husband instead of anti-hypertension medicine because the packaging of both the medicines was similar. The German man could not understand English language and by consuming wrong medicine, he died, he added.

Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho lauded the services of PSHP president and the former chief pharmacist at Aga Khan University Hospital Abdul Latif Sheikh on receiving the prestigious medal and award from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Government, he stated was trying to introduce clinical pharmacy services and practices at the public hospitals throughout the province and in this regard, consultation with pharmacy council, associations of pharmacists, the pharmaceutical industry and private sector would be started soon to achieve the important milestone in the health sector. He also suggested that the highest civil award of medicine and public service should be awarded to Abdul Latif Sheikh for his service for ailing humanity and people of Pakistan.


Members of the PharmEvo team which had organized the reception for Mr. Latif Sheikh photographed
alongwith Mr. Latif Sheikh and Mr. Haroon Qasim Managing Director of PharmEvo.

Sheikh Akhtar Hussain Chief Executive Officer of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP) said that Mr. Latif Sheik is founder of clinical pharmacy in Pakistan. He introduced new concepts of clinical pharmacy and started training program for young pharmacists which has helped the ailing humanity. Government of Pakistan has also benefited from his experience. DRAP has successfully implemented his ideas and will continue to learn from the experiences of Abdul Latif Sheikh in improving pharmacy services in Pakistan. Dr. Aslam Afghani former chief executive DRAP said that Mr. Latif Sheikh has played an important role for development of hospital pharmacy all over the country, has helped DRAP, he know how to tackle the bureaucracy and to make new developments. Next generation will benefit from the services in hospital pharmacy. He is so focused, sincere and has lot of contribution in healthcare delivery system in the country.

Mr. Johannes Theodorus Kidzierski, CEOAga Khan Hospital said that Abdul Latif Sheikh is master to execute and restructuring of organization. He changed the pharmacy environment in Pakistan. Mr. Shamim Raza Director Pharmacy Services at AKU said Mr. Latif Sheikh is true leader in hospital pharmacy. He has pivotal role in healthcare dynamics. His vision and leadership qualities are commendable.

Mr. Nadeem Mustafa Khan Advisor to the President, AKUH speaking at the occasion said that medical errors are third leading cause of deaths in USA. Recognition of services of Mr. Latif Sheikh by an international body is a great honour for all of us. AKU pharmacy became the model of pharmacy which has been recognized internationally. Punjab Government he stated was the pioneer to accept and appoint pharmacists in public hospitals. Hospital pharmacy is leading to patient focus approach. Mr. Latif Sheikh has ability to think, strive, make effective change, ability to execute and whole nation is proud of him.

Mr. Nadeem Irfan, from University of Punjab said that he has earned this award due to dedication and hard work. Clinical pharmacy and hospital pharmacy is the brain child of Mr. Latif Sheikh. He is inspiration for all of us and young pharmacists. Mr. Toqeerul Haque, Senior Vice Chairman PPMA said that Mr. Latif Sheikh has phenomenal contribution in the field of pharmacy. He was founder of pharmacy in the AKU. He is the first Asian to receive this award. We are proud of Mr. Latif sheikh for the wonderful contribution in the field of pharmacy. He is imparting training to younger generation which has played important role in the healthcare system.

Mr. Haroon Qasim Chief Executive of PharmEvo in his speech paid tributes to Mr. Latif Sheikh and termed him a legend, he is straight forward. All, the participants colleagues spoke their hearts, he is contagious. None of the people said no to the invitation sent for this event, he added. I have not fully gone through the social impact study at AKU but twice I had a chance to visit Emergency of AKU where he has helped set up state of the art pharmacy services. It was first time I realized the importance of pharmacy when prescription of my mother and son was changed by pharmacist because of wrong dosage.

Former Chairman PPMA Dr. Kaiser Waheed Sheikh said CGMP program for Pharma industry was initiated by Dr. Farzana Chaudhary and Mr. Latif sheikh was also involved in these activities. He has done a great job for pharma industry. He has always been very helpful to the Pharma industry in Policy Board meetings, Drug Regulatory and Drug Registration Board. He is very kind and wants to help young pharmacists.

 Dr. M. Khursheed from AKUsaid thatpractice of pharmacy in AKU has transformed in Pakistan. He is a role model and Government of Pakistan should recognize his services. Dr. Obaidullah from Islamabad informed that Mr. Latif Sheikh always emphasized on availability of drugs which are essential and in short supply. His guidance to DRAP is very important he added. Dr. Khalid said that Mr. Latif Sheik is legend, leading in EMRO region, has tremendous services in hospital and clinical pharmacy and medication error. He introduced how pharmacists can play an important role in healthcare system. Mr. A. Q. Javed from Islamabad said that Mr. Sheikh is a role model for all of us and he helped strengthen pharmacy profession in Pakistan. Mr.Tahir Aziz Mughal , Chief Operating Officer Shaukat Khanam Hospital Lahore said that whenever we have any problem Mr. sheikh is there to guide us and to solve the problem.

Mr. Jamshed Ahmed, General Secretary Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists addressing the participants said that it is about community of Pakistan. When he was about to retire from Aga Khan, we requested him to lead us to continue and help in the improvement in pharmacy services in Pakistan. This reception is unique because we are acknowledging the services of living legend which is very rare in our country. In USA 79% pharmacists are providing quality care, we are trying to bridge the gap and Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists has the capacity to do that. He urged the Government to make use of the resources which will help to improve the quality care.

Dr. Miraj Shah, Director Secondary Hospital & Member of AKUH Quality program stated that Mr. Latif Sheikh has wonderful personality, positive attitude, he has done marvelous job to enhance the quality and safety of pharmacy services. Mr. Qurban Ali Khwaja , Technician at Aga Khan University Hospital said that pharmacy a new born baby was brought up by Mr. Latif Sheikh and he is father of pharmacy. Ms. Aamna Sheikh, daughter of Mr. Latif Sheikh in her remarks said that if you want to transfer something, you need to set discipline, timing and responsibility. What I am today is because of my father It is unfortunate that someone outside country has realized that someone has done something. Ms. Shafaq Zehra and Ms. Umaimah Muzzamil from PharmEvo conducted the proceeding of the event.

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