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Community Pharmacists advocate access to safe medicines

Community pharmacists have stressed the need to entrench access to safe medicine as a human right in the country, saying “it is a major way of guaranteeing better access to quality medicines for all Nigerians.

The pharmacists who gathered at the 2014 Continuing Medical Education, CME, Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Lagos State branch, with the theme: “Patient Safety Issues in Nigeria: Community Pharmacists Perspective”, maintained that access to safe medicines remains a human right of all citizens of Nigeria.

In a chat, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Olumide Akintayo, said pharmacists have been working with the National Human Right Commission to come up with a policy that would cover access to medicine as a human right.

“What community pharmacists are simply saying is that they want to be in the vanguard of creating an environment whereby Nigerians will consume safe medicines at an affordable cost and accessible at all time even in the remotest part of the country.

“This is also inconsonance with the National Drug Policy in Nigeria. They are just working in perfect tandem with that philosophy at this year’s continuous education programme,” he added.

Earlier, the State Chairman of ACPN, Aminu Abdulsalami – Yinka said Continuous Medical Education, CME, programme in Lagos has been very consistent over the years because of the importance ACPN placed on knowledge and effective service delivery.

“There are new trends even in the management of ailments, new medicines and in order to cope with the new trends; we need to regularly update ourselves so that we can impact positively in the lives of the public that actually need our service. So the education programme is a sine qua non in our policy and in conjunction with the regulatory authority, it is also mandatory.

He noted that this year’s programme was approved by their regulatory body because of the consistency and quality over time. He said a two – unit credit would be awarded to all pharmacists that attended the programme.

On the theme of the conference, the Registrar, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, PCN, Pharm. N.A.E Mohammed maintained that the patient is the bottom line of safety issues in healthcare and it is what makes a health professional.

“Their focus on patient safety is what distinguishes them from business men who are into the practice for the sake of money but they are in the practice to take care of patients.”


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