-As Association Celebrates World Pharmacists Day
September 25 was a day set aside in 2009 by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), and adopted at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences same year to annually highlight the value of the pharmacy profession to global population.
In commemoration of this year’s event which had the theme “Safe and Effective Medicine for All”, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos State Chapter, has identified inappropriate and weak legislation, as well as lack of political will to implement policies on pharmacy matters as major hindrances to achieving safe and effective medicine in the country.
Speaking at an event organised to mark the 2019 World Pharmacy Day, held at Anthony Sport Complex and Youth Centre, Kosofe Local Government Area, Lagos recently, the Chairman, ACPN, Lagos chapter, Pharm. Olabanji Benedict Obideyi, lamented that pharmacists in the country have not been getting the required support by all and sundry through appropriate legislation to be at the helm of affairs on all matters relating to medicines.
According to Obideyi, who was represented by the vice chairman, Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, due to weak legislation on pharmacy matters, illegal premises are springing up on daily basis by charlatans who do not have any formal training on medicines, adding that the only motivation they have for venturing into drug business is to make profit at the expense of the citizen’s lives.
“In these illegal outlets, expired drugs are relabeled for sale to the unsuspecting members of the public, while some other medicines are being falsified at alarming rate. The regulatory authorities seem to be handicapped in this regard majorly due to inadequate infrastructures to carry out their jobs. However, if our medicines must be safe and efficacious, government would need to build the capacity of the concerned agencies by providing necessary tools to work,” he advised.
While speaking with pressmen, the Keynote Speaker, Pharm. (Mrs) Olabisi Oyeleye, managing director and chief executive officer, Pharma Solution Limited, emphasised that pharmacists are the only healthcare professionals uniquely trained in all matters relating to drugs and warned on the dangers in patronizing quacks.
According to her, this year’s theme, “Safe and effective medicine for all” is aimed to promote pharmacists’ role in safeguarding patient’s safety through improving medication use and reducing medication error, adding that pharmacists are trained to ensure access to medicines and their appropriate use, improve adherence, coordinate care transitions, and so much more, as against the evil intention of the charlatans.
“Meanwhile, the charlatans we are talking about don’t have the education in medicine and we know that medicine can be quite dangerous as they have benefits and they have side effects which can sometimes also cause other diseases and even death. Only the pharmacist is actually trained to be able to advise patients on the proper use of drugs,” she said.
In his speech at the event, the executive chairman, Kosofe Local Government, Hon. Babs Afolabi Sofola commended ACPN for what he termed as laudable gesture of the healthcare providers to organize such a great programme in the community, as well as offering free health screening and counseling to the teeming members of the Kosofe community, saying the effort had enlightened more people on the proper channel to seek safe and effective medication.
Speaking further, the elated Hon. Sofola advised the people of his community that whenever they are in need of healthcare assistance, they should not hesitate to approach any nearby registered pharmacy for ultimate preservation of their health.
For the Chairman, World Pharmacists Day Planning Committee, Pharm. Tolulope Ajayi, the day across the globe is set aside to celebrate the noble profession of pharmacy as well as the practitioners who are selfless, readily available and passionate about patient care, and who can do more for healthcare delivery system for the ultimate benefit of the patient.
The highpoint of the event was the free counselling and screening on Hepatitis B, blood sugar, blood pressure, malaria, hypertension, and other disease conditions offered to the people of Anthony, Maryland community and its environs.
Dignitaries at the event included Mazi. Sam Ohuabunwa, president, PSN, who was represented by Pharm. Bolanle Adeniran, chairman, PSN, Lagos State; Pharm. Samuel Adekola, national chairman, ACPN, who was represented by Pharm. (Mrs) Omokhafe Ashore, national financial secretary, ACPN; Pharm. Ismail Aminu, former chairman, ACPN, Lagos State; Pharm. (Mrs) Biola Paul-Ozieh, immediate past chairman, ACPN, Lagos; Hon. Ola Odunfa, supervisor for chieftaincy, Kosofe LGA; Hon. Oyetayo Oyeyemi, supervisor for Agric, Social, Youth and Sport; Hon. Idowu Olowo, councillor, Anthony Ward; Hon. Diekola Lawal, special adviser on media to the chairman, and many others.