World Pharmacists Day: Introducing Professional Clinical Pharmacy
World Pharmacist’s Day is celebrated every year on September 25 around the world under the umbrella of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) which is an international body representing more than four million pharmacists, educators and pharmaceutical scientists. FIP is a non-governmental organization that was established on this day in 1912 and has had an official link with the World Health Organization since 1948. The theme for this year’s day was chosen to be “Transforming the global health”. While outlining the main purpose of these celebrations, FIP President Dominique Jordan said, “We aim to show how pharmacists are contributing to a world where everyone has access to medicines and safe, effective, quality and affordable healthcare and pharmaceutical care services”.
The objective of World Pharmacists Day, which came to life at the FIP Council 2009 in Istanbul, was to encourage activities that promote and defend the role of the pharmacist in improving health in every corner of the world. The main objective of the World Pharmacist’s Day campaign is to raise awareness of the professional activities of a qualified pharmacist and to educate the public about their important role and crucial responsibilities in the healthcare system, as well as to instill a sense of pride, solidarity and awareness within the pharmacy. professionals globally. Pharmacists are the third largest group of healthcare professionals in the world and India also has over ten registered pharmacists. After publishing the Pharmaceutical Workforce Development Goals in 2016, FIP unveiled its “FIP Development Goals” this year on September 21 outlining the steps needed to develop this profession in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. United Nations.
Over the past few decades, the pharmacy profession has tended to move away from its original focus of drug supply to focus more on patient care. The role of the pharmacist has evolved from that of compounder and supplier of pharmaceutical products to that of provider of services and information and finally that of provider of patient care. The number of drug options has also multiplied, increasing the complexity of therapies. Pharmacists have a unique role to play in evaluating these options and use their knowledge and skills to prevent, detect, monitor and resolve any medical related issues. The concept of the seven-star pharmacist, introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and taken up by the FIP in 2000 in its policy statement on good pharmaceutical practices, considers the pharmacist as a carer, a communicator, a decision-maker, a teacher, an actor in life. lifelong learner, leader and manager.
However, the involvement of qualified pharmacists in Jammu and Kashmir in this regard has remained extremely low, contrary to the trends seen in other Indian states and developed countries. While seeking medical help, people think of a doctor, a nurse or a dispenser, but a pharmacist rarely comes to mind, probably because even a matriculated one was eligible until recently to be registered as a pharmacist here and anyone can get a license to sell drugs, regardless of their educational and technical background. Amidst all the chaos in Jammu and Kashmir, holders of degrees in pharmaceutical sciences are out of work and have been left to fend for themselves. All this needs to be corrected by introducing professional clinical pharmacy services and a new concept of “pharmaceutical care”.
Pharmaceutical care is a patient-centered, outcome-oriented pharmacy practice that requires the qualified pharmacist to work in concert with the patient and the patient’s other health care providers to promote health, prevent disease, and ensure that drug treatment regimens are safe and effective. . Professional clinical pharmacy services provided by qualified personnel with advanced and post-graduate degrees in pharmaceutical sciences can greatly assist in identifying potential and actual drug-related problems; meet the needs and solve the real problems related to drugs; prevent potential medication-related problems and optimize patient treatment outcomes. It is a practice in which the pharmacy practitioner ensures that all of a patient’s drug therapy is used appropriately for each medical condition; the most effective drug therapy available is used; the safest possible drug treatment is used and the patient is able and willing to take the drug as planned. Patients in our part of the globe have not been able to benefit from these professional pharmaceutical care services so far, which has led to large-scale dissatisfaction and disillusionment among them, as they remain largely uninformed about the various surveys of laboratory conducted on them and the need for various prescribed drug treatments.
Clinical pharmacy as a whole is in its infancy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the concept of pharmaceutical care is completely new to most doctors, nurses and even pharmacists currently working in government health facilities. Due to physicians’ patient overload and other reasons, they are unable to offer detailed counseling, patient education, and pharmaceutical care services on an individual basis to all of their patients. It is therefore up to trained pharmacy practitioners to step in and fill the void by offering such services with a view to obtaining specific therapeutic results that improve the patient’s quality of life. The overall goal of clinical pharmacy professional services is to optimize the management of therapeutic outcomes and reduce the burden of the five Ds of death, illness, disability, discomfort and dissatisfaction in patients. . The clinical, economic and humanistic results will also evolve towards the positive side thanks to these integrated and seamless health services rendered by a qualified pharmacy practitioner. With these goals and objectives, the University of Kashmir started a postgraduate program in Pharmacy Practice ten years ago in its Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The course includes compulsory practical training in a one-year internship in a hospital in addition to a one-year research work in hospital, clinical or community pharmacy which culminates in the writing and submission of a dissertation.
The overall scenario when it comes to professional pharmacy services across the J&K state is very dismal where we have mostly unqualified people working as pharmacists in retail pharmacies and dispensing medication to patients without any knowledge -doing technical about it and without providing any basic information to the patients about the use and possible side effects of the drugs. Also in the public sector, pharmacies in hospitals, primary health centers and sub-centres are run by people who have not had any formal training as required by the standards, especially in pharmacy. We do not have positions available for Pharmacy graduates and graduates at any level in our government sector. Indeed, their applications are not accepted for the positions of Junior Pharmacist advertised by the Department of Health and Family on the pretext of being “overqualified” for the position.
Consequently, the services of qualified pharmacists remain completely unused in the state, depriving patients of valuable information on the use of drugs. In order to keep pace with rapidly changing times and global trends, trained and skilled pharmacy practitioners should be an integral part of the medical team on duty rounds and their assistance should be sought in prescribing the best possible drug therapy. to patients. Every major hospital in our state should have a full-fledged clinical pharmacy practice department with adequate infrastructure, manpower, equipment, and funding. Since this is already well stipulated in our state’s approved drug policy, the government needs to start working in this direction in earnest. Having qualified clinical pharmacists in all hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir will serve the best health interests of our patient population.
The author teaches in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kashmir