We need to take up Health System Research which is lacking in Pakistan-Dr. Asad Hafeez

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 Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists meeting

We need to take up Health System Research
which is lacking in Pakistan-Dr. Asad Hafeez

Pharmacist are needed at every place where medication
is being used - Latif Sheikh

We should have high hopes and optimistic future of
Pharmacy Profession in Pakistan-Jamshed Ahmad

KARACHI: Health System research is lacking in Pakistan and we need to take up this aspect and do some research work. Research is particularly very negligible in the field of pharmacy. I am optimistic that the new leadership of Pharmacists and the Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists will take the profession of pharmacy to greater heights for which we will provide the best environment. This was stated by Dr. Asad Hafeez, Director General Health and President of Pharmacy Council of Pakistan. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the Second International conference of Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists held here on October 14th 2017. The two distinguished Keynote Speakers in the conference included Henri R. Manasse Jr Professor and Dean Emeritus at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy and former Executive Officer of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists besides Jacqueline Surugue Lecturer UFR Sciences Pharmaceutiques former President of European Association of Hospital Pharmacists from France.

Continuing Dr. Asad Hafeez said that significant strides have been made in the field of pharmacy in Pakistan.  Speaking about the working of the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan he said that curriculum and practices was up to the mark. Postgraduate programmes of PhD and M. Phil have been included in the pharmacy curriculum. Quality of education was being maintained and enhanced. We have standardized tools for inspection of pharmacy schools. During the last decade pharmacy profession has grown in Pakistan and we maintain high standard. The government Dr. Asad Hafeez remarked will be too glad to make any changes aimed at improvement of education and practice of pharmacy in collaboration with the executive of Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Earlier Mr. A. Latif Sheikh President of Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists in his address said that they will try their best to make the healthcare professionals understand the importance of the pharmacists. The pharmacists, he said, are needed at every place where medication is being used. He should be a part and important member of the healthcare team. Up to 30% of patients, he said, receive five or more drugs and in Sweden the medical errors are reported to be 42% and in Saudi Arabia one fifth of the primary care physicians make mistakes while prescribing drugs. The medical errors include wrong medicines, wrong patients, harmful interactions, allergy, poor communication, administrative and medication errors in hospitals. Unfortunately we do not have many studies on patient safety in Pakistan. Our objective is how to create quality and safety in medications.

We are facing many problems due to non-uniformity in healthcare standards, integration in services as most of the operations are in silos. We have shortage of trained health professionals coupled with sub-optimal environment. He also referred to GMP, cGMP, supply chain and patient safety. We do need to look at the storage of medicines and what happens to them by the time they reach the patient. We do need to evolve a strategy to interact with the regulatory authorities, federal and provincial pharmacy councils, DRAP and interaction with the Academia. We need to have a faculty of Clinical Pharmacy Practice. We also need to help define scope of training programmes, streamline availability of CPD opportunities for pharmacists. Arrange accredited CME/CPD modules for pharmacists, ensure availability of live Webinars at National and International level. Pakistan Society of Health-System Pharmacists Mr. Latif Sheikh added would like to help our faculty in institutions review pharmacy practices and Research Advisory Board besides having liaison with international societies and associates.

Syed Jamshed Ahmad General Secretary of the PSHSP opined that Pharmacists was a national treasurer which was untapped and unexplored. We have to break the mind barriers and continue our journey. We should have high hopes and optimistic future of Pharmacy profession in Pakistan. We all must join hand and make a voice. We need to undertake all round development of pharmacists and welfare of the entire community of pharmacists is our goal. We have not so well developed Hospital Pharmacy service and Community Pharmacy is almost non-existent. Pharmacists can add value to their work. All pharmacists should come on one platform. In United States, Mr. Jamshed Ahmad said 77% of pharmacists go to community pharmacy. We will concentrate on building of professional capacity of pharmacists so that we can make an impact in the era we are working.

The scientific programme of the conference included two keynote presentations by the invited guest speakers from USA and France besides three panel discussions. Detailed reports to follow.

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