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March 14, 2017

Call to appoint pharmacists in hospitals

Lahore

March 14, 2017

LAHORE

The Pakistan Young Pharmacists Association (PYPA) has urged the government to appoint one pharmacist on every 50 beds in public and private hospitals in compliance with the decision of the Apex Court and international standards.

“There are 6,000 vacancies of pharmacists present in public hospitals, which must be filled with immediate effect,” said Noor M Mehr, President Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum, along with PYPA General Secretary Haroon Yousaf and Joint Secretary Hina Shaukat, while apprising the journalists on Monday after their protest in front of Lahore Press Club was turned into a press conference after intervention by the police due to security concerns.

They were of the view that pharmacists, being medicines experts, would be forced to migrate to other countries due to government’s continuous discrimination, saying that brain drain would cause irreparable loss to the healthcare system in Pakistan.

Noor M Mehr said that proper health services remained incomplete without pharmacists, urging the government to cancel licences of hospitals without required number of pharmacists. He said that clinical pharmacists must be appointed in every hospital, DHQ/THQ and BHU. “Healthcare allowance must be given to all pharmacists working in public sector,” he said.

He demanded immediate revocation of licences for Drug Sales Licences of medical store issued on B-Category, and demanded to issue new Drug Sales Licences with pharmacist as qualified staff. “To cater the shortage of pharmacists on community pharmacies, pharmacist may be allowed to work on more than one pharmacy with two-hour shift at each pharmacy,” he added.

Haroon Yousaf said that Punjab Healthcare Commission must give interest-free loan of Rs10 million to pharmacists to start their own business. He said pharmacists may concentrate on SME pharmaceutical business, which will result in elimination of spurious, counterfeit, adulterated, misbranded and substandard drugs from Pakistan. “It will help to manufacture best quality medicines at less cost and patients will get economical medicines,” he added.

Hina Shaukat said pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare system through the medicine and information they provide. Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of care for patients from dispensing medications to monitoring patients' health and progress to maximise their response to the medication. Pharmacists also educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, and advice physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on drug decisions. She said that the prosecution of pharmacists must only be done by pharmacy councils, as doctors are prosecuted by PMDC and lawyers by bar councils. Whether pharmacist is working in public or private sector, the cognizance must be taken by the respective council regarding any offence committed by any pharmacist.

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