BY CHIOMA OBINNA
Safe medicines for Nigerians can only be guaranteed when pharmacists provide the right pharmaceutical care, and when patients and the general public patronise only registered pharmacies, where experts are available to provide safe medicines and pharmaceutical care.
To this end, as part of strategies to fight quackery in the pharmacy practice, a new logo, vision and mission statement has been unveiled by the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN.
The pharmacists who gathered at the 32nd National Conference of ACPN, in Calabar, River s State last week, “Land of Paradise 2013”, former Commissioner of Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Tourism, Land and Physical Planning, Ahmed Yakasai, who spoke on the theme of the “Safe Medicine for Nigerians – Community Pharmacists’ Perspectives” said safe medicines, as defined by World Health Organization, WHO, satisfy the priority and health care needs of the population and selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety as well as comparative cost- effectiveness.
Yakasai said safe medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems, at all times, in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, as well as at a price the individual and the community can afford. “The vision of WHO is that people everywhere have access to the safe medicines and health products they need, that the medicines and health products are safe, effective and of assured quality, and that medicines are prescribed and used rationally.”
Yakasai regretted that although access to safe medicines is part of the human right to health, Nigeria is faced with an uncoordinated drug distribution system, which is not in line with the good drug supply management that the national drug policy stipulates.
Acting Registrar, Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria, PCN, Mrs. Gloria Abumere, explained that medicines are crucial to human existence. “Lives have been terminated through the wrong use of drugs, while medical conditions can also be made worse through inappropriate use of medicines. And this is where the community pharmacist comes in.”
Unveiling the new logo, mission and vision statement, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, urged the pharmacists to embrace the labelling software initiative, which addresses irrational drug use and medication errors.