LET US LOOK AT THE GUIDELINE AGAIN
I was compelled to write this after reading an online publication regarding the proposed guideline, I will take a look at salient points raised and even some that was not raised and make an objective review.
A pharmacist cannot be a superintendent pharmacist until five(5) years post qualification: I personally see nothing wrong with this, and these are the reasons.
Many of us, the young pharmacist are virtually broke and easily give out the sacred license for free in the name of register and go. A friend once shared a story with me of a young graduate who gave out his license for 180 thousand naira per annum, that is very insulting to the profession, I also heard of another young pharmacist who told his friends on Facebook to tell anyone they knew who was interested in the license to come pick it for R and G. In defense of the proponent of the guideline, I think five years of being a locum pharmacist under an experience superintendent will give you enough room to practice, gather experience and appreciate more the importance of the license. This time also offers you flexibility in the job, gives you time to get more education, specialize and become a better pharmacist.
The flaw in the guideline I think, is just that five years is too long, two to three years would not be a bad idea.
Pharmacists with less than ten years post qualification experience cannot own a wholesale outlet: This part of the guideline is just too flawed and egocentric, for crying out loud, what professional input do one make in wholesale to warrant ten years post-graduation experience, if that ten years was for a retail pharmacy where you come in contact with patients, that would be understandable, for Christ sake what is the big deal in in selling drugs in bulk and writing the invoices…it is no big deal.
Open market like Idumota and Onitsha would be no more: These places serves as haven for fake and adulterated drugs but with this guideline, they will be a thing of the past and which ultimately translate into better drugs for the patient which could be you or me.
Every pharmacist is welcomed: There is no part of the guideline that prevent anybody from participating, the best businesses in the world are private sector driven, the distribution guideline gives pharmacists an upper hand via the PSN, in as much as we feel that PSN needs to do more, we cannot take away the fact that Akintayo’S led PSN is very vibrant.
Issues concerning how the guideline cannot survive because the law has not gone to the national assembly and that doctors cannot do that to themselves: Pharmacist should stop being so negative and be positive, the guideline is a national one and involves all the concerned stake holders, and we all know that PCN and NAFDAC are the statutory drug regulatory body of the country and they are backed up by adequate laws and this guideline is based on those laws, so anybody who knows the laws should not say it would not work because they are very adequate.
Issues regarding CO-PHARM and how it failed, the MDDC and SDDC, Dr Ojo clearly stated that the MDDC would not be ran like co-pharm, and I have been in UNTH when PSN state chapter came to explain these things, please, from my understanding, the business would not be ran by PSN, it would be ran by competent pharmacist who are good business men, are pharmacist and belong to PSN. All those pharmacists who invested would be shareholders and thus can determine how and who runs the business, just like banks. PSN to my understanding wants to serve as an umbrella to bring pharmacist together to run business as brothers and MEN that we are.
ISSUES regarding patent dealers abolishment, handing over SDDC politicians etc: These are no issues, and besides if anyone feels threatened by politicians, go to your state join politics and put things right as a pharmacist. Abolishing patent dealers is not the way forward, but show them the way out by your competence and superior knowledge, not chasing them about, if any pharmacist feels threatened by a patent dealer, then he/she needs to upgrade. Who would want to go to a patent medicine shop where there are pharmacies?
IN SUMMARY: The guideline is a good one, let us try and invest into it, let us all look at the positive side of the guideline, key into it and get our groove back, I personally feel that this guideline, if followed will get pharmacy as a profession closer to where it ought to be, let us not allow our personal interest to kill the profession.
There are so many more important things we can dwell on, such as coming together as one voice to ensure our consultants are recognized, changing from product and profit based profession to professional based profession, think of producing our drugs at home than being a banana republic of drugs, we can write till government yields and understands that any hospital without a legally qualified pharmacist is a DOCSPITAL, we can lend our combined voices to ensuring that our people can hold political offices, we should stop comparing pharmacist and doctors, we are two big branches from the same root. Criticisms will get us no where, let us all join hand as men of honour.
LONG LIVE PHARMACY PROFESSION !!!