IT Expert, Stakeholders List Benefits Of IT To Pharmacy Practice

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– As ACPN Eti-Osa holds business seminar

A renowned Information Technology (IT) expert, Mr Collins Onuegbu, and key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry in Lagos State have urged community pharmacists to embrace technology in their quest to improve their practice, noting that they cannot afford to be left behind in the revolution currently going on globally through the Internet.

Speaking at the 7th Annual Business Summit organised by the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Eti-Osa Zone at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Onuegbu, founder of Signal Alliance Limited, Lagos, explained that the world had become a global village with the help of IT and the earlier pharmacists realised this, the better for their business.

According to him, the pharmaceutical industry has become a money-spinning industry and going by the rate of its growth, practitioners must embrace and maximise the numerous possibilities of information technology so that the world will not leave them behind.

“The world is going towards a time when machine will be smarter than humans through the help of IT. So as pharmacists, you should move with the advancement as the Internet has now made everything possible and convenient; and if care is not taken, it may phase out most profession,” Onuegbu told the participants.

Continuing, he said: “As pharmacists, your practice today should be totally different from what was practised several years ago. There are some patients today whom technology has made powerful to the extent that they know more than many doctors and pharmacists.

“In about 50 years’ time, it is possible that people may not necessarily need doctors or pharmacists; so you need to be ahead of your patients, because knowing more than they do makes you an expert.”

Speaking in the same vein, Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos Chapter, Pharm. Bolanle Adeniran, urged pharmacists to explore the advantages of technology to harness and improve their practice, noting that technology can be used to advance the profession.

She stated that technology will not only help pharmacists to maintain good pharmacy practice (GPP), but also facilitate effective good drug distribution and help in the fight against sales of counterfeit medicines.

Stressing that there are now several digital opportunities that can help strengthen all areas of pharmacy practice, Adeniran said: “As pharmacists, we play an important role in healthcare provision, and it is high time we started seeing ourselves as ones whose role is very important in the healthcare delivery chain, and we cannot afford to fail.”

Also speaking at the event, Pharm. Abiola Paul-Ozieh, chairman, ACPN, Lagos, reiterated that pharmacists cannot afford to ignore technology, as it is the current trend in the world, adding that with technology, pharmacists will be able to perform better and contribute more to healthcare delivery.

Speaking further, the Lagos ACPN boss explained that technology has a major impact on the working lives of billions of people all over the word, adding that many industries have embraced computer technology because of the benefits of automated information processing, which she said include enabling routine tasks to be conducted with consistent accuracy and standardisation.

Speaking earlier, the zonal chairman, Eti-Osa ACPN, Pharm. George Okon, disclosed that the programme, which was the seventh edition in the series, was organised to create strategic road maps for the next one year for the association’s members, adding that the theme of the programme was apt as it came at a time when it was most needed.

“With the increasing tide in the use of technology to shape, reshape and create new consumer experiences, we cannot afford to be laggards in embracing and adopting the tools of technology for optimum benefits and real value, both for our consumers and our investments,” Okon said.

Dignitaries at the event included Mrs Joyce Onafowokan, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Social Development, who was the special guest of honour; Pharm. Ogeneochuko Omaruaye, managing director, New Height Pharmacy; Pharm Mrs Abimbola Adebakin, chief executive officer, Advantage HealthAfrica, Lagos, who was also a keynote speaker; Mr Anthony Omokhodion, a sub-theme speaker; Pharm. Adebayo Afon, vice chairman, Eti-Osa ACPN; Ms. Itimi Jopesi, managing partner, Rene Digital Hub; and Pharm. Funsho Fakolujo.

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