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Integrate Pharmacists into institution’s patients management teams, Association urges

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By Sunday Elom N

The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN, has beckoned on health institutions in Nigeria who are yet to integrate their Pharmacy practice into the patient management team of their institutions to put machineries in place to see to its actualization as such has become the gold standard of practice of Pharmacy across the globe.

During a Conference with the theme; ‘Advancing Technological Revolution in Pharmaceutical Service Delivery’ held in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, Prof. Patrick Omonua Erah delivered a keynote address, it noted that, “Conference reaffirmed the indispensability concept of the Pharmacist as an integral member of the healthcare team crucial to the delivery of quality healthcare to patients in Nigeria and submitted that the integration of Pharmacists into the patient management team in a collaborative practice with clinicians in some practice settings in Nigeria has reduced preventable adverse drug events and saved the cost of healthcare to patients.

“Conference, therefore called on health institutions yet to align their Pharmacy practice to the aforementioned model to put machinery in place to see to its actualization as this has become the gold standard of practice of Pharmacy across the globe.
“Conference acknowledged the global trends in the evolution of Pharmacy practice which now includes provision of expert and specialized services such as Pharmaceutical care, radiotherapy, effective medication therapy management and specialized pharmacotherapy for disease conditions, specialized critical care, oncology Pharmacy practice, Pharmacovigilance and adverse drug reporting and critical aspects of Pharmaceutical care such as patient counselling and medication audits and submitted that the foregoing areas remain advanced and required expert and specialist skills to effectively drive their practice.

“Conference therefore, appreciated the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria to realign the country’s healthcare system to meet quality standards in line with global best practices as demonstrated through government’s creation and release of the circular on the Pharmacist Consultant Cadre for Pharmacists in Civil /Public Service in Nigeria as approved by the National Council on Establishment.

“Conference commended the Board of Management of University College Hospital, Ibadan for being a trail blazer in the implementation of the circular and called on all other hospitals in Nigeria to emulate UCH, Ibadan and commence implementation without further delay.

“Conference reaffirmed that Pharmaceutical care, a specialist practice, the mission of Pharmacy and a measure of the quality of the Pharmacist’s contributions in the healthcare delivery system remains the bedrock and cornerstone of Pharmacy practice in the twenty-first century era.
“In the light of the aforesaid, Conference commended the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) for her adoption of the AHAPN-pioneered Position Paper on Pharmaceutical Care as a veritable tool that would drive the implementation of this model of practice in Nigeria. Conference, therefore called on the PCN to fast-track the process of implementation in our health facilities across the country through proper regulation and adequate oversight.

It further said,
“Conference reiterated the overarching relevance of the Consultant Pharmacist in patient care in today’s provision of healthcare globally. It further noted that management of patients by consultant Pharmacists in collaboration with other caregivers achieved through deployment of the right skills and knowledge, display of the right attitude and effective and efficient communication will go a long way in properly shaping healthcare delivery services in Nigeria and remain mutually beneficial to both the patients and practitioners.
“Conference submitted that the practice of Pharmaceutical care requiring the specialist skills of the Consultant clinical Pharmacist remains a sine qua non for achieving positive impact in patient care which can be manifestly measured by indices such as reduction in morbidity and mortality, reduction in medication related adverse effects, reduced preventable medicine related hospital admission and re-admission, reduced unnecessary waste of medicines, reduced cost of healthcare and improved patient quality of life.

“Conference acknowledged recent advances in technology in the areas of computer and robotic engineering and its adaptation and deployment in Pharmacy practice in different parts of the globe and specifically noted that machines now performed functions such as prescription vetting and verification, prescription filling, counseling, refills and billing.

“Conference submitted that the use of local technologies in Pharmacy practice remains germane and charged hospital pharmacists in Nigeria to identify specific problems/areas of immediate technology requirements in practice settings and work with experts to proffer solutions.
“Conference submitted that optimizing the use of technology assists the hospital Pharmacist in the maintenance of all relevant data needed in providing optimal oversight of patients medication therapy and such included prescription documentation, prescription vetting, the practice of Unit Dose Dispensing System and Pharmaceutical care and in research/clinical trials. It further identified computer-assisted prescription writing as a new tool to reduce errors and promote rational drug use.

“Conference further identified the critical issues to address with technology in Pharmacy practice in Nigeria to include: chaotic drug distribution system, control of Pharmacy practice, improving impact of Pharmacists in patient care, patient’s medication therapy management and use of technological innovation in taming drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
“Conference submitted that the deployment and implementation of technology assists Pharmacists and Pharmacies in delivering improved care to their patients with positive impact on clinical, operational, financial and regulatory compliance.
“Conference identified e-dispensing and digitalization as technological innovation that is transforming the Hospital Pharmacy practice with great potential to mitigate the issues associated with paper-based prescriptions, prescription authentication, medication errors and medication safety, documentation etc.
“Conference submitted that e-dispensing and digitalization promotes better co-ordination of care, improved clinical practice, accountability and communication across the healthcare continuum.

“Conference advocated the introduction and use of e-dispensing and digitalization principle in Nigeria’s healthcare space as a mechanism to improve workflow and reduction in the complexities associated with the dispensing procedure, reduce prescribing and dispensing errors, improve patient safety through reduction of adverse drug events. It further submitted that its introduction will avail Pharmacists more time to focus on critical aspects of Pharmaceutical care such as patient counseling and medication audits.

“Conference submitted that technology remained a veritable tool for the effective regulation of medicinal products in Nigeria so as to assure quality, safety and efficacy of the products. Conference therefore, called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to forge necessary partnerships with other stakeholders with a view to deploying a more effective and robust means of securing the medicine supply chain in Nigeria.
“Conference called on the leaderships of federal health institutions in Nigeria to fast track the process of setting up of Compounding/Small Scale Production Units in their hospitals without delay in line with the directive of the Federal Ministry of Health and submitted that this measure would go a long way in saving cost for the institutions as well as ensuring medicines security in the long run.

“Conference appraised the incessant spate of industrial unrests within the Nigerian health sector and traced its etiology to the hegemony of injustice perpetrated by one group of health professionals perennially entrenched using the instruments of offices of its privileged members in high places in government.
“Conference, therefore, called on the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to demonstrate that it has the political will and take practical steps to redress the glaring cases of injustice and impunities that have become the hallmark of the health sector.

“Conference reviewed and appreciated the efforts of the leadership of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Professional Associations (AHPA) in addressing the long standing cases of injustices perpetrated against members of JOHESU/AHPA.
“In line with the aforementioned, the

“Conference, therefore, called on the Federal Ministry of Health to respect the letters of the various collective bargaining agreements (CBA) it had reached with the leadership of JOHESU/AHPA.
The Annual General Meeting unanimously ratified and adopted the proposals contained in the 2021 reviewed Byelaws of the Association as approved by the National Council”, the Conference which elected
Pharm. Olabode Ogunjemiyo as it’s National Chairman and Pharm. Elechi Oyim as his Deputy among other Excos concluded.

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