If you are interested in getting information on e-pharmacy in Nigeria, then here is the opportunity for you to hear from an expert on the field. The Executive Director of Trustee Drug Inc., Pharm. Vern Ohaya, whose company recently introduced new software for the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, spoke with Pharmanews on why e-pharmacy is gaining ground in the country.
Below is the text of the interview:
Tell us the latest development on the ICT software introduced by your company to help improve pharmacy practice in Nigeria.
I can safely say that the introduction of e-pharmacy in Nigeria is now a well-accepted phenomenon, judging from the number of institutions that have embraced the programme and the interest being generated by those wanting to implement the programme.
You were involved in the international training workshop on pharmacotherapy held at the University of Benin, last July. Can you tell us the objectives and gains of the workshop?
The workshop was intended to demonstrate collaboration among the health care workers and stress the need for health care workers to team up with each other to achieve optimum patient care. The workshop exposed the gap in the health care delivery system between our country, Nigeria, and a developed country like the United States. The professional facilitators presented during the workshop were able to convince the active and intelligent participants that there should be some sense of urgency, if we ever want to attempt to bridge the gap.
Your company was trying to build a good relationship with ACPN (Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria) to help drive the implementation of the ICT software in community pharmacies throughout the country. How far have you gone in achieving this?
Many community pharmacies want to embrace e-pharmacy, but funding has been a great impediment, as many of them are finding it difficult to obtain hardware like computers and printers. Those that have implemented the program are quite happy with it.
Are you satisfied with how much has been achieved since your company introduced the ICT software in Nigeria and what is your expectation, in the next five years, for the pharmacy profession?
As long as we continue to observe the proliferation of sub-standard drug stores, or prevalence of fake drugs, or excessive medication errors and possible loss of lives, or continued existence of open market drug distribution system in Nigeria, we will not be satisfied. Nevertheless, if we can achieve the goal of having all tertiary institutions in the country embrace e-pharmacy within the next five years, we will say that we have achieved some level of satisfaction.