Pharmacists in Nigeria need to be more proactive and forward-thinking in order to be in tune with the continually expanding scope of Pharmacy practice globally.
This was the assertion of Pharm. Clare Omatseye, MD/CEO of JNC International, during the third Annual Business Luncheon/Summit of the Eti-Osa branch of Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, on October 10.
In attendance at the summit were Pharm. Ndukwe Uma, Eti Osa zonal chairman (ACPN); Pharm. Obideyi Olabambi, representing the PSN chairman; Pharm. A. C. Obembe; Pharm. (Mrs) Emily Olalere, director, PCN (Lagos zonal office) and Pharm. Ike Onyechi, MD of Alpha Pharmacy.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Improving Community Pharmacy Practice in a Resources Limited Economy,’ Omatseye challenged pharmacists to be innovative and remember that the value of everything they do must be patient-oriented.
While calling on the participants to properly study the new guideline on drug distribution, the JNC boss said that she was already looking forward to a time when Nigerian pharmacists would be at par with their counterparts in the world.
In her call for innovative ideas, Omatseye further hinted that it is not out of place for pharmacists to think of building a state-of-the-art oncology centre to ease the pressure of having to send patients abroad for treatment, adding that it is possible if people are willing to.
In his address, Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director of Alpha Pharmacy and guest speaker at the event, lent support to Omatseye’s assertions.
Onyechi said that pharmacists need to reposition themselves beyond what they know.
He further called for a review and possible expansion of clinical pharmacy syllabus in school curriculum.
“This is why I continually laud the likes of Pharm. Bukky George for taking the bold initiative to add beauty items side-by-side with her retail pharmacy stores. She is someone whose vision is quite exemplary,” he noted.
The pharmacist equally told participants how Alpha Pharmacy wasdoing all within its power not to become a “dinosaur” (stuck in the past), saying that he had rebuilt the company’s Enugu branch and moved it to a permanent site on Edinburgh Road.
He encouraged community pharmacists to attend events such as health shows and trade fairs both locally and overseas.
“For instance, Chidi Okoro, MD of GSK Consumer Healthcare just launched a new book. I noticed only two pharmacists in attendance” he said.”Brian Tracy was also in town some weeks back, no pharmacist was present at the dinner. This is not good enough. However, I am happy many of us are becoming more conscious of our environment and government policies. We should also strive to think of opening more pharmacies to enhance visibility,” he urged.