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Saturday, September 25, 2021

World Pharmacy Day: Things You May Not Know About Pharmacists


via As a commemoration of the world pharmacist day with the theme "Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health".

I will like to use this medium to enlighten the public in the roles of the pharmacist in health care.

¶ Pharmacist are not just drug sellers.

There is a skewed perception of pharmacists being just drug sellers or dispensers just like people in the patent medicine store or chemist. Yes that is partially true but that is a microcosm of what we do.


A pharmacist also compound drugs and extemporaneous preparations to specific patients when the need arises.

A pharmacist can also provide patient counseling on the right way to taking medication and maintaining good health.

He/she also plays a role in counseling patients on smoking cessation, drug abuse, alcohol addiction and other toxic substances.

A pharmacist does not only dispense drugs but provide pharmaceutical care to the patient.

¶ Community pharmacists have diverse roles
A community Pharmacist can also provide medical checkup services such as blood pressure measurement, temperature, auscultation, first aid services etc

Aside dispensing, pharmacist are active in cold chain management and administration of vaccines, patient counseling and medication therapy management to better understand the drugs you are about to take and any caution if there is.



¶ It takes a lot of schooling to be a pharmacist:

It takes a total of 5-6years of rigorous training to finish the pharmacy degree program, this is excluding a one year internship.

Pharmacists are well trained professionals on drugs and drug related information, no health professional knows it better than them.

A pharmacist in summary is a drug expert.

¶ A Pharmacist provide drug information:

Pharmacists are the hub for drug information.
Both health care professionals and patients consult pharmacists on drug information.

A pharmacist tells the patient which drugs to take with or without food, which drugs should not be taken at the same, what drug is not recommended for you or not etc.

Patients who are non compliant to the Pharmacist's instructions are at risk of exacerbating the illness or reducing their quality of life.


¶ Pharmacists can save you from spending more:
There are times a doctor will prescribe expensive drugs to a patient and if that patient is not drug insured he might find difficulty in acquiring them.

Most of the time a pharmacist can recommend another drug similar in action but cost effective or the same drug prescribed but at a lower cost by replacing a branded with a generic drug.

A pharmacist can also provides information on rebates and other cost saving tips to help lower cost of medicine.

¶ A pharmacist checkmates a doctor's prescription:

When a doctors prescription enters into the hands of a pharmacist, the pharmacist first authenticates if it is actually from a doctor or the patient is trying to forge it so he can self medicate or abuse the drugs ( drug abuse have become a menace in the society)

If it is truly from a doctor the pharmacist checks for drug-drug interaction, drug food interaction, allergy, adverse effects than might harm the patient in special conditions such as pregnancy, being a child or an old man.

The pharmacist also checks for accuracy and dose of the medication for the patients indication.

He or she then raises any concern to the prescribing doctor and provide recommendation.


¶ Pharmacists work in variety of places:
Most people assume pharmacists only work in the community (community pharmacist) or hospital (hospital pharmacist) .
Pharmacists also work in the government, administration, pharmaceutical companies, public health, academia, research, informatics and management care.

Pharmacists who work in pharmaceutical industries ensure that high quality drugs are being supplied to the public.
They utilized their knowledge on pharmacology, pharmaceutics , biotechnology and pharmaceutical chemistry to further advance the health care system.

Pharmacist in government and administration such as NAFDAC, NDLEA ensure sanity in drug distribution and work in eradication the menace of counterfeit drugs (e.g Dora Akunyuli).
Research institute like NIPRD carry out research on our indigenous plants and were able to discover for promising drugs such as Niprisan ( drug for sickle cell).

¶ Pharmacists are quintessential
Pharmacist are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals in the community.
Pharmacists have an important role in healthcare delivery because of their expertise and also their location within communities that gives them close proximity to patients, such that they are sometimes the first respondents in the healthcare system.

The role of a pharmacist is indispensible – John F. Kennedy


Nairaland let's celebrate our pharmacists

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