WE MUST NOT ALLOW PHARMACY PRACTICE GO THE WAY OF MEDICAL PRACTICEIt has become very obvious that for the past few years, the status of the pharmacist has been justifiably elevated by the society. The pharmacist in the community has become the first point of call for the populace for minor ailment, and they have purposefully surpassed the standard place on them by the society, in terms of their health requirement. What does this mean for the physicians? Less patients, less burden on them, gradual erosion of societal absolute trust on the physicians as obtainable in the past, the pharmacist has risen to liberate the patient from perceived ‘’suffocation and extortion’’ in the hospital by those who run them. The populace has consistently, by choice, made pharmacist their trusted and knowledgeable health care provider.
Within the hospital, it has become imperative for the pharmacist to rise to the occasion as regards drug usage, the hospital pharmacist must guide every other personnel and guard the patients as regards drugs.
I am very grateful to our elders in pharmacy who saw beyond personnel interests to enact laws concerning one pharmacist, one license and one premise, this practice has ensured that there is always a place for the young graduates. This, I think is not obtainable in medicine and it is killing the profession gradually and internally. In Pharmacy practice we are allowed to complain, but in medicine, doing that simply means you do not want to be a consultant. There is a very popular story among medical doctors, of a very brilliant doctor who was running his residency in a hospital in the old eastern region but goes o Ibadan yearly or so for his exams. while going, his consultant gives him a letter to deliver to his examiner who was very close to him, the brilliant doctor takes the letter, with the hope it was a recommendation, however years rolled by without him passing the exams. On a particular occasion, the recipient of the letter felt for him and asked him if he had ever read any of the letters he brings to him, he said no, the man told him to try and read it next time. He of course failed that exam. On the following year, the got same letter and decided to read it, and it was written by his beloved consultant that he must never pass the exams ,of course, he felt bad but did not deliver it this time, and when results came out, he was where he is expected to be…the top. Such wicked practice to my knowledge does not exist in pharmacy and must never be allowed to do so. We have our problems though.
Pharmacy education is enshrined with versatility, I still have the business plan I wrote while in school. We were taught everything, from clinical pharmacy, to industrial, to self-development to pharmaco-econmics and all what have you. I must confess our elders have tried and are still doing more, for instance with ultra logistics. Lack of diversity is what is killing the medical practice, many physicians put on a toga of arrogance without making much impact in the lives of their patient, hence the patient began searching for alternative and the pharmacist was there and fully prepared and ready, the result is very evident.(I do not deny that there are impeccable doctors in Nigeria by all standard) Dr.drew was a medical doctor, Ben Carson is one, and so many other who has contributed to lives beyond the consulting room.
Young pharmacists must diversify, they must expand their practice beyond the community and hospital, they must embrace industrial and academia, research and all what have that pharmacy has placed advantageously at our feet. Today, we have companies who employ non pharmacist reps, those will become our problem tomorrow, soon we will hear association of non- pharmacist reps, we must keep this in checks. The rate at which generics and supplements are flooding the market makes one wonder if there is still NAFDAC, Pharmacy companies should be recapitalized just like the banks, so that they can be able to fund research geared towards actualization of new molecules. I am not saying non-pharmacist should not rep, but they not be allowed run community pharmacy, reason being that pharmacy is not just a business but more of a profession than business. Today, many doctors cannot do residency because of lack of space, his senior who uses his license to operate ten hospitals employs him and pays him peanuts, while the young doctor’s license lies fallow. We must be up and doing, we must not allow pharmacy go the direction of medical practice, for it is a one-way traffic.

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