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September 26, 2017

‘Pharmacists unappreciated in drug delivery system’


September 26, 2017

The role of pharmacists remains unacknowledged in the country’s drug delivery system, as they are not consulted for prescribing medicines to patients, Sindh’s health minister told a seminar on Monday.

“Pharmacists play an important role in the drug delivery system, but unfortunately, in our country their role is not very well recognised,” said Dr Sikandar Mandhro, who was the chief guest of the seminar at the Arts Council.

“If they are hired by hospitals, they are mostly sidelined instead of benefitting from their expertise as well as consulting them before prescribing medicines to patients.” The awareness seminar was organised by the Medical & Social Welfare Committee of the Arts Council in collaboration with the Pharmacy Graduates Association of Pakistan.

It was addressed by experts from the local pharmaceutical industry, including Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, and the faculty and a large number of students of the University of Karachi and other educational institutions.

Dr Mandhro said laws relating to appointment of pharmacists at hospitals and pharmacies existed, adding that pharmacies could not operate legally without employing qualified pharmacists, but he deplored that the laws were not being implemented.

He said he understood the role and importance of pharmacists in the country, and vowed that he would try his best to ensure that pharmacists got the opportunity to play their due role in the health and drug delivery system in the province.

He announced that he would recommend special allocation of funds for promoting the pharmacy sector in the province, saying that without their help, the sufferings of the ailing humanity could not be eradicated. He asked pharmacists to assist the government in providing quality health care and raising awareness about diseases.

Prof Dr Nighat Rizvi of the Nazeer Hussain University said medicines were being provided to patients all across the country without prescriptions by doctors or pharmacists. Dr Nighat admitted that only the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had introduced positive initiatives for providing prescribed drugs to patients.

Dr Farhan Essa of Dr Essa’s Laboratory & Diagnostic Centre said pharmacists had a significant role to play in the health sector, adding that the relevant authorities should ensure presence of qualified pharmacists at every medical store across the province.

Dr Essa informed the seminar that the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments had successfully activated the health care commissions, but in Sindh the authority was yet to assume its due role.

Meanwhile, Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad, chairman of the Arts Council’s Medical & Social Welfare Committee, said noise pollution had become a major problem, pointing out that it led to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, neurological disorders and insomnia.

Dr Sajjad asked the health minister to impose a ban on the use of pressure horns and heavy generators to control noise pollution, saying that although laws to stop their misuse existed, they were not properly implemented.

Pharmacy Graduates Association of Pakistan Patron-in-chief Zainul Hasnain, Dr Tanveer Ahmed, Sumbol Shamim, Naheed Memon, Iqbal Mazhar and other also addressed the seminar. Later, an awareness walk was held from the Arts Council to the Karachi Press Club.

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