– As Lagos ACPN holds Pharmacists Education Conference
To ensure the continued success of their businesses, irrespective of prevailing economic circumstances, pharmacists must take financial discipline and capacity building seriously.
This was the submission of Pharm. (Dr) Albert Kelong Alkali, national chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), at the 2016 Lagos ACPN Pharmacists Education Conference, held last December at NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to the number one community pharmacist in the country, the continuing education programme for community pharmacists was timely, as knowledge gained would help them to keep their businesses afloat during the current economic recession.
Alkali also seized the opportunity to call on government to reduce take off cut on raw materials for pharmaceutical products, as well as to appoint a substantive director general for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), so that Nigerians are not exposed to fake and counterfeit products.
Speaking in the same vein, the Group Managing Director, Reals Groups Limited and former Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN,) Board of Fellows, Pharm. Ade Popoola, disclosed that the continuing education conference was important as it was a good avenue to upgrade the knowledge of community pharmacists so that they can remain leaders in the pharmaceutical business.
Pharm. Ade Popoola, Group Managing Director, Reals Groups Limited and former chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN,) Board of Fellows, and Pharm. (Mrs) Abiola Paul-Ozieh, chairman, ACPN, Lagos State Chapter at the 2016 Lagos ACPN Pharmacists Education Conference, held last December at NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos.
Pharm. Popoola who was the chairman of the occasion further added that for a business to survive in a recession period, an entrepreneur has to understand the dynamics of financial education, noting especially that in retail pharmacy, it is very easy for one to lose capital if care is not taken.
While lamenting that Nigeria was operating at an inflation rate of about 18.3 percent, which portended danger for retailers like community pharmacists, the experienced pharmacist advised pharmacists to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by developments in information technology, internet and social media to enhance their businesses.
In an earlier address, Chairman of ACPN Lagos, Pharm. (Mrs) Abiola Paul-Ozieh, lamented that the economic situation in Nigeria was shrinking pharmaceutical business across the country, adding that, by extension, the non-availability and non-affordability of drugs was affecting the health of Nigerians.
According to her, the high tariffs on imported pharmaceutical products, the inability of manufacturers to access foreign exchange and the unbearable exchange rate of naira to dollar had drastically affected pharmaceutical businesses as over 100 importers had folded up or left the country, while many of the remaining ones were not bringing in products required by Nigerians.
She disclosed that the Continuing Education Conference with the theme: “Impact of Manpower Development on Community Pharmacy Sustainability” was designed to promote professional skills, business strategy skills and practice skills of community pharmacists, saying it would help community pharmacists to better understand current economic realities and the options available for small and medium enterprises.
“Most of us in community practice are yet to come to terms with the current economic recession. We want to know how we can scale through. We want to know the options available for us and options available to mitigate the effect. In all sincerity, 2016 was a year filled with so much instability – the prices were not stable and consumer patronage was not stable as quite a lot of them resolved to cutting down cost,” Paul-Ozieh said.
Chairman of the event, Pharm. Ebenezer Adeleke, commended ACPN Lagos for being consistent in organising the programme every year, adding that he was highly impressed with the large turn-out of young pharmacists whom he described as ‘future of pharmacy profession’ at this year’s edition
Other dignitaries at the event included: Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, President, PSN, who was represented by Pharm. Emeka Duru; Pharm. Miyen Swomen, head of human resources, Union Bank Plc, who was the keynote speaker; Pharm. Yetunde Morohundiya; Dr (Mrs) Moyosore Adejumo; Pharm. Iyiola Gbolagade, among others.