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Pharmacists should become health care providers: Intl body chief

Nagpur: During the Covid period, drug sellers in many countries not only provided medicines to patients, delivered services at home, made screening tests available, performed vaccinations, but also gave appropriate advice. With the passage of time, the role of drug sellers is changing and they should work as health service providers rather than just as professionals, said president of International Pharmaceutical Federation of the Netherlands Dr Dominique Jordan.

Jordan was addressing the chemists and druggists conclave held on the theme ‘Community pharmacist scenario: Global to local’ on the third day and concluding day of 72nd Indian Pharmaceutical Congress organized by the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress Association and the department of pharmaceutical science, Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University.

All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists president Jagannath S Shinde was present at the conclave as chief guest and Jordan was the guest of honour. Deputy drugs controller Dr A Ramakrishnan, Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggists Association secretary Anil Namander, Indian Hospital Pharmacist Association representative Dr Pankaj Bector, national president of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India and organizing committee secretary and APTI national president Milind Umekar, student representative Rahul Lad, Royal Pharmaceutical Society founder Mahendra Patel were present.

Jordan shed light on the current state of community pharmacists around the world. He said there are many big challenges facing the pharma sector like geographical location, liberal policy, new technology, new treatment methods, increasing competition, increasing cost of medical care etc.

Jordan said in view of the increasing competition, pharmacists will have to provide excellent service.

According to Shinde, the gap between global and local is rapidly shrinking and medicine and money are two common elements. Now that India has become a member of the GAT family, it will compete directly with the global market. It is now a battle for existence. To deal with it, there is no option but ensure education, infrastructure, use of technology and apart from providing better services.

Expressing belief that 60 per cent of pharmacists in India are women and if they are trained, they can provide better services to customers, Shinde said community training is being provided by the organization to upgrade their knowledge.

The government also asserted the need to change some rules and policies for the upgradation of pharmacists. He also expressed opinion that a new generation of pharmacists is entering the profession and in the future, a specialized pharmacy for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer will gradually emerge.

Patel presented his thoughts on ‘Antibiotic guardian in India’. Umekar, principal, SKB College of Pharmacy, Kamptee, assured that community training programmes would be organized for pharmacists. The programme was moderated by Manjiri Gharat.

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