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PCI says COVID pandemic raised importance of pharmacists

KOHIMA, NOVEMBER 30: Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) president Dr Montu Kumar Patel today said that pharmacists were neglected in the past but their importance and role came to light during the pandemic period.
Kumar was speaking at the Nagaland Pharmacist Association (NPA) annual general conference-cum-Continuing Pharmacy Education (CPE) held on the theme “Tap the advancing pharmacy: The need of the hour” held at Hotel Vivor here.
“Our services play a very major role in the distribution and dispensing of the medicines and it was realized by one and all during the COVID-19 period…we are the end user to supply medicine and provide services to the people”, he said.
He further stated that the Government of India, Prime Minister and Health Minister have accepted the importance of pharmacists and are planning to introduce the pharmacovigilance programme in order to strengthen the pharmacists.
Saying that recognition of pharmacists is very essential, he called upon them to focus on community pharmacists by delivering service to patients.
He also said that the Central Government has started the Heal by India and Heal India projects and as the family of the health care service providers, pharmacists have to focus on reducing the workload of doctors.
The PCI has made a proposal to the NITI Aayog through a representation asking for proper recognition of pharmacists’ service and also proposed to have clinical pharmacists in all Central and State Government health care centres.
Expressing hope for a new era of clinical pharmacy in the country, he said that PCI has also asked permitting minimum prescription rights to the pharmacists which has not been there till day in India but is existent in other countries.
He said that 80% of the proposals have been accepted by the Government while the final discussions are pending with the National Doctors’ Commission.
In this, Kumar encouraged pharmacists to avail the opportunity of learning about the latest development through Continuing Pharmacists Education (CME).
He said that the pharmacists will be recognized by the society and the general public only if they start patient consultation and counseling as well as focus on clinical pharmacists because we are now only traders and dispensers despite knowing all about health care.
The PCI president also assured all support to the NPA towards uplifting the pharmacists of the State.
Additional Drug Controller, Licensing and Controlling Authority, Nagaland WH Patton said pharmacist is a versatile and diverse profession which has multidisciplinary and multifaceted opportunities for services.
While pharmacist is said to be the third largest healthcare profession in the world, he said that the pharma industry is engaged from research and development to manufacturing to quality control and packaging.
Maintaining that health is defined as the physical, moral and social well-being of an individual while medications are essential for treatment, he said medications if used properly will be therapeutic but if used wrongly may result in drug related problems.
So pharmacists can provide professional services to patients and educate the patient about the proper usage of medicines and appropriate diet to obtain maximum therapeutic values, he said.
The role of pharmacists is very crucial and therefore with new technology and practices, CPE is important to expand the knowledge of pharmacists and improve healthcare services.
Nagaland State Pharmacy Council president Dziesevotuo Tseikha also exhorted the gathering.
Deputy Chief Pharmacist, Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Rokokieno Linyü chaired the programme while presidential address was delivered by Libonthung R Shitiri and special number was presented by NPA Mokokchung unit.
NPA general secretary Thungchio Y Enny delivered the vote of thanks.
Later, Continuing Pharmacy Education was conducted on “Physical identification of defects in pharmaceutical formulations in post marketing and reporting” by Dr H Lalhlenmawia, Head of Department (Pharmacy), Regional Institute of Paramedical & Nursing Sciences, Mizoram & Member PCI and “Regulatory, marketing & drug promotion process” by Dr Nilimanka Das, President, Tripura State Pharmacy Council & Assistant Professor Regional Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology (RIPSAT) Agartala, Tripura, and Executive Member of PCI.
(Page News Service)