September 25th is celebrated in the world as world pharmacists day. The day was brought to life at the FIP Council 2009 in Istanbul.
This day is celebrated to encourage activities that promote and advocate the role of the pharmacist in improving health in every corner of the world.
The theme for this year’s World Pharmacists Day is ‘Safe and effective medicines for all.’ This year’s theme aims at promoting pharmacists’ crucial role in safeguarding a patient’s safety through improving medicines use and reducing medication errors.
The founder of World Pharmacists Day, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global body representing pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and pharmaceutical education. Through their 144 national organizations, academic institutional members and individual members, they represent millions of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmaceutical educators around the world.
IMPORTANCE OF PHARMACISTS
It is no doubt a fact that Pharmacists are the reason why people get the best from their medicines, they are using their experience, knowledge, and expertise to make the (medical) world a better place for everybody.
Pharmacists help people to improve their health and prevent illness by using their knowledge and learning. They provide the required medical assistance to the patient by giving the right medicines along with information about dosage.
On this day multiple activities are organized all over the world to let people understand the crucial role a pharmacist play in the medical world.
PHARMACISTS PROBLEMS IN PAKISTAN
The saddest fact in Pakistan is that around 95%of pharmacies, commonly known as ‘medical stores’, do not have qualified pharmacist to dispense medical prescriptions.
Only 5 % of more than 40,000 pharmacies in Pakistan have qualified pharmacists while around 15,000 qualified pharmacists are jobless and an overwhelming number of the medical stores are run by unqualified managers.
As per the law, the appointment of a pharmacist is mandatory to get a license to run a medical store.
A license from the Central Pharmacy Council in Islamabad is required to run an institution, but unfortunately most private pharmacies are operating without a licensed pharmacist, posing a serious danger to the public health as these stores also sell over the counter drugs.
The role of the pharmacist as a member of the healthcare team and in direct patient care does not exist in Pakistan which is a major challenge for the graduating pharmacist and a possible reason for the lack of acceptance by the medical and para-medical staff for the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare provider.
HEC, PPC, and PPA needs to take serious steps for the protection of this profession. Pharmacists’ rights have been infringed upon by laymen, physicians, nurses, industrialists etc. Retail pharmacies run by unprofessional persons should be immediately shut down. Such rules should be promulgated which make it obligatory upon each public and private hospital to hire at least one clinical pharmacist.
Pharmacy is a respectable and prestigious profession, its flag bearers should not be treaded upon by government.