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May 29, 2016

British Pakistani female pharmacist makes history


May 29, 2016

LONDON: A British Pakistani has become the youngest Asian female ever to be awarded the status of Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (FRPharmS) for her distinction in the profession of pharmacy.

Nadia Bukhari, 38, is the youngest female to be given this status and is also the youngest Asian to be awarded Fellowship.

Nadia, a fluent Urdu speaker, was born and brought up in London and has family roots in both Karachi and Lahore.

She graduated as a pharmacist from the School of Pharmacy, University of London in 1999.  She began her career as a community pharmacist after which she moved on to being a clinical pharmacist in a leading London teaching hospital and finally ended up in academia.  Nadia is currently a senior teaching fellow at the UCL School of Pharmacy in London and is also in her 3rd year of her PhD - researching in pharmacy leadership.

Speaking to Geo News in an interview, Nadia said “It is a flattering recognition.  Being a fellow is a huge honour and privilege; it shows all the work you do, day in and day out is being recognised by your peers and it also gives a wider recognition by other healthcare professionals. I am extremely passionate about my profession.  If you don’t have passion, you don’t have the drive. Nadia has very strong roots in Pakistan and visits her homeland periodically.  She has links in Karachi where her parents are from and through marriage belongs to the renowned Fakir family of Lahore.

Nadia wishes to give back to her homeland to help Pakistan raise the standards of pharmacy and medication.  Once her PhD is over, she hopes to develop a steering committee to review the current challenges facing the pharmacy profession, including pharmacy education, in Pakistan and the Middle East.  “Pharmacy is a vital part of healthcare and by having such an initiative, it will allow for a more streamlined approach to healthcare in Pakistan,” she said.

Nadia is very well-known within the pharmacy profession and is a role model for many pharmacy students, newly qualified pharmacists and experienced pharmacists alike. She has experience in training in a practice setting where she guided many trainee pharmacists to success. This ignited her passion in the development, education and training of young pharmacists.

She said that Pakistan is amongst those countries where drugs abuse is a common problem but in the western countries it’s a highly sensitive area as to who is entitled to receiving medication. She said that it was alarming that customers can get any medicine they want at the counter as long as they pay for it. She said that lots of awareness and education is needed in Pakistan on the latest and much-needed pharmacy practices.

Nadia has immersed herself with trainee pharmacists in every sense. “From the application process, to the physical training, to the assessment process and finally collaborating with the professional body to support pre-registration pharmacists on a national scale, I have led by example encouraging many to push their personal boundaries beyond what it traditionally means to be a pharmacist,” she said.

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