In recognition of her laudable contributions to the growth of pharmacy practice in Nigeria, Managing Director of Bola Chemist and Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN), Pharm. (Mrs)Marcelina Onasanya, has been honoured with the prestigious Retail Pharmacy Legend Award.
The award ceremony which was part of the 7th edition of The Panel, an annual retail pharmacy business summit organised by Pharmalliance, was held on 11August, 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel and Suites, Ikeja, Lagos.
Extoling her virtues, Pharm. Adeshina Opanubi, coordinator of Pharmalliance, described the 84-year-old matriarch as a beacon of hope for young pharmacists going by her antecedents.
“Her passion for the pharmacy practice is quite remarkable. How many people can believe that she still attends daily to her primary duty at Bola Chemist at such age? For what it is worth, she deserves the award,” he said.
Pharm. Lere Baale, director of the Business School Netherlands and one of the panelists at the 2015 edition of The Panel, was equally full of praises for her.
According to him, Onasanya contributed to the success of his career and the need to uphold professional ethics at all times.
Prior to her establishing Bola Chemist in Lagos Island, Pharm. Marcelina Onasanya had worked with the Yaba Dispensary and was once a treasurer of NAGPP (now ACPN).Aside being a PSN Fellow, Onasanya is also a mother of two registered pharmacists in Nigeria.
Other notable awardees at the two-day summit were Pharm. Bukky George, chief executive officer of HealthPlus Pharmacy &Casa Bella Beauty World (Inspiration Award); Pharm. N.A.E Mohammed, registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (Leadership Award); Pharm. Josephine Ehimen, director of NETT Pharmacy (Partner’s Award); Mr Femi Soremekun, chairman of Biofem Pharmaceuticals (Partner’s Award) and Pharm. Oghene Ochuko Omaruaye, managing director of New Heights Pharmaceuticals (Platinum Award).
Earlier in his keynote address, Mr Bayo Rotimi, managing director of Quest Advisory Services Limited, urged the audience to consistently aim high.
Speaking on the topic, “Strategy Execution: Hallmark of Successful Retail Leaders,” Rotimi lauded MedPlus and HealthPlus pharmacies for blazing the trail in the retail busines.
“Having said that, I think you can do better. There is nothing stopping any serious retail pharmacist from owning a minimum of 100 outlets in Nigeria. The only reason you can’t achieve that is if the market doesn’t exist. But it does exist in this case,” he said.
It would be recalled that MedPlus Limited has 21 chain stores while HealthPlus Limited presently has 40 with additional 48 planned for the year.
PCN registrar, Pharm. N.A.E Mohammed, also shared the belief that retail pharmacists could do better by distinguishing themselves from non-professionals.
“By now, retail pharmacies should have outgrown some certain things such as encroaching on the 200 metres proximity boundary set from the nearest existing pharmacy. Not just that. The last time we visited Ajegunle in Lagos, we met an embarrassing situation where plates used in eating were found littering the floor of a pharmacy. How bad can that be?” he remarked.
The registrar further argued that the 21st century retail pharmacist has no business using scissors to cut Paracetamol as some practitioners still do.
In attendance at this year’s edition of The Panel were Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director of Alpha Pharmacy; Dr Cyril Chukwu, a consultant pulmonologist with LUTH; Pharm Olaide Soetan, former product manager of Biofem Pharmaceuticals; Pharm. Chris Ehimen, chairman of NETT Pharmacy; Pharm. Ismail Adebayo, immediate past national chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN); and the incumbent, Dr Albert Kelong Alkali.
Pharmalliance, which organised the retail business summit, is an informal network of retail pharmacies that access a common pool of shared resources. These resources include financial services, legal services, insurance services and business development services.
According to the organisers, Pharmalliance is for retail pharmacies registered by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria. It is an alliance of pharmacy businesses and non-pharmacy professionals.