Towards the need for continuous capacity building and empowerment in the pharmacy profession, Pfizer Plc has organised a one-day Pfizer Pharmacy Academy, the objective of which was to deploy an impactful, world class integrated medical education/soft skills training to a minimum of 500 class A & B retail pharmacists in Lagos.
The training was aimed at empowering pharmacists with the principles of patient management with medications and to enhance their knowledge, as well as to equip them with tools, in order to have a reorientation towards new medicines.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the occassion, Lere baale emphasized the importance of new medication in patient management, saying that every time you come up with a new medication, for every dollar you spend on new innovation, you will save as much as eight dollars on hospitalization. Typically this is costing the US economy 300 billion on both hospitalization and associated costs of manning for those people.
He further stated that the training will enhance their knowledge base on medication on the group of medication for that therapy area, while disabusing their minds from the practice of recommending cheaper brands in place of expensive brands, stating that this has led to complication of cases.
“That you think a medicine is cheap does not mean the pharmacological profile and the biopharmaceutical profile are the same with another, in fact, its creates more problem when the patient would need to go back to the hospital, because the patient is going to be hospitalized, and when the patient is taking a bed space that he shouldn’t have taken in the first instance, in a country like ours where we do not have enough bed space, then the compounding effects will be more than imagined.
“If somebody needs to be given a particular brand, you cannot use pricing alone to determine which brand is the best to be picked. A number of people that will use pricing alone without a means of protecting quality, such practice will lead them to become victims of substandard drugs, because many have been blinded on medications that they should have been able to use to manage Glaucoma”, he explained.
A Consultant Urologist, Dr. Funmilade Omisanjo, during an exclusive interview with Pharmanews at the Academy, spoke on the prevalence of erectile dysfunction among Nigerian men, saying that at least 30% to 40% of men, who are above the age of 40 will have some degree of erectile dysfunction, be it the mild form of dysfunction or severe form.
Omisanjo, who is also a senior lecturer with the Lagos State College, identified the causes of erectile dysfunction to include: age, lifestyle, obesity, smoking, alcohol, secondary factors- diabetes, hypodermia, and high blood pressure.
“Age is a very important factor; also lifestyle is a very important. Obesity is necessitated with that, lack of exercise people who do sedentary work or people who don’t do my physical activity. That kind of lifestyle will also predisposed people to erectile dysfunction. Things like smoking, taking a lot of alcohol. Most of these recreational drugs that people take actually have side effects of affecting erection negatively. Then of course you have various co-morbidity other diseases thing like diabetes mellitus, hypodermia, people who have problems with high level of cholesterol in their system, high blood pressure, people who have problems with their nerves, then of course there are medications people take various medical conditions that have various erectile dysfunction as a side effects. These are some of the function that predisposed men to erectile dysfunction”, he asserted.
On whether herbal drugs are effective in treating the condition or not, he acknowledged that the local things that patients take actually do work sometimes, though they work at the expense of some other things. “I will give you an example; most of the local things that people take are invariably things that have been soaked in alcohol. Alcohol in itself can be a risk factor for erectile dysfunction besides, the chronic intake of alcohol can have other side effects on the liver and all that. You can never tell what the concentrations of these things are. So in as much some of these do work, there are not the things we prescribe routinely”.
The urologist, who discouraged the intake of herbal remedies for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, advised men to always endeavour to seek expert opinion and treatment because they have well proven medications that do work.
He however, urged pharmacists to be discerning in dealing with patients, saying that they sometimes come under the pretence of the need for an energy booster or some herbal supplements. “I think health care givers should be sensitive to patients need. When people come with all these kind of loose complaints as it were, I think the pharmacists should take out time and have a discussion with the patients and when you see there is some degree of erectile dysfunction, I think you need to encourage the patient to see an expert.