Pharmacists are health professionals specializing in the use of drugs, as they follow a university level training to understand the biochemical mechanisms and pharmacological actions of drugs, the uses of drugs, therapeutic roles, side effects, potential drug interactions and monitoring parameters.
This year’s theme for World Pharmacist Day is
“Pharmacy: always trustworthy for your health”
World Pharmacist Day is celebrated wholeheartedly on September 25 by pharmacists around the world. World Pharmacist Day reminds the world to pay tribute to all those pharmacists who provide services with kindness and empathy.
Pharmacists support the medical system with great kindness and tenderness. During the pandemic, pharmacists played a key role in supporting healthcare.
Pharmacists are taking on expanded roles and are increasingly recognized as the medication management experts of the healthcare team, including clinical services, drug review for safety and efficacy, and provision of information on medicines. Pharmacists are therefore the experts in drug therapy and are the primary healthcare professionals who optimize the use of drugs to provide patients with positive health outcomes.
Over the past decades, the role of the pharmacist has shifted from preparing medication to a more inclusive focus on patient care. The concept of the 7-star pharmacist, introduced by the WHO and taken up by the FIP in 2000 in its policy statement on Good Pharmaceutical Practices, considers the pharmacist as a caregiver, a communicator, a decision-maker, a teacher, a learner throughout. life long, a leader and a director.
When seeking medical help, people think of a doctor, nurse, or medical assistant, but a pharmacist rarely comes to mind, possibly because qualified medical assistants or graduates run the affairs of the doctors. pharmacy services, whether retail or hospital. In J&K, getting a pharmacy registration is not a big deal, anyone can get a license to sell drugs, regardless of their training and technical knowledge. In the midst of all the mess at J&K, people with a pharmacy degree are out of work and have been left to fend for themselves. All this needs to be corrected by introducing professional clinical pharmacy services as well as a new concept of “pharmacy care”.
Pharmaceutical care is a patient-centered, results-oriented pharmacy practice that requires the qualified pharmacist to work in concert with the patient and other patient health care providers to promote health, prevent disease and ” ensure that drug regimens are safe and effective. . Professional clinical pharmacy services provided by qualified personnel with graduate and post-graduate degrees in pharmaceutical sciences can greatly assist in identifying potential and actual drug-related problems; responding to needs and solving real drug-related problems; prevent potential drug-related problems and optimize patient outcomes. This is a practice in which the pharmacist ensures that all of a patient’s drug therapy is used appropriately for each medical condition; the most effective drug treatment available is used; the safest possible drug treatment is used and the patient is able and willing to take the drug as intended. Patients in our part of the world have not been able to avail such professional pharmaceutical care services resulting in widespread dissatisfaction and disillusionment among them as they remain largely uninformed of the various laboratory investigations being conducted. on them and the need for the various drug therapies prescribed. The overall goal of professional clinical pharmacy services is to optimize the management of treatment outcomes and reduce the burden of the five Ds of death, illness, disability, discomfort and dissatisfaction in patients. . Clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes will also shift to the positive side due to these integrated and seamless health services provided by a qualified pharmacy practitioner.
However, the involvement of qualified pharmacists in J&K in this regard has remained extremely low, unlike the trends observed in other Indian states and developed countries. Since the reorganization of the state in the UT of J&K and the UT of Ladakh, the central laws have replaced the old laws of the state; some of which are archaic and outdated with other distortions caused by politico-bureaucratic maneuvers. One of these unhealthy practices relates to the registration of medical assistants as pharmacists under the State Pharmacy Act of 1956. Medical assistants are healthcare professionals trained in the professional requirements of helping physicians as general duty assistants for medical and surgical procedures such as minor surgical procedures, dressings, donation injections, application of dressings, etc. in the same way as other health care assistants such as ophthalmic assistants, medical laboratory assistants, health assistants, OT assistants are trained to perform specific clinical tasks. As a result, healthcare professionals of medical assistants find themselves in a different setting from the pharmacists category in the healthcare delivery system in terms of training and professional requirements, with separate positions for the two categories of healthcare professionals. public service.
Also in the public sector, pharmacies in hospitals, primary health centers and sub-centers are staffed by medical assistants who have not received any formal training as required by standards, particularly in pharmacy. We have no positions available for pharmacy graduates and graduates at any level in our government sector. Indeed, their applications are not accepted for the positions of Junior Pharmacist announced by the Department of Health and Family Welfare on the pretext of being “overqualified” for the position. As a result, the services of qualified pharmacists remain totally unused in the UT, depriving patients of valuable information on drug use. In order to keep pace with rapid changes and global trends, trained and skilled pharmacy practitioners should be an integral part of the medical team during ward rounds and their help should be sought in prescribing the best drug treatment. possible for patients. Every major hospital in our state must have a fully-fledged pharmacy department with adequate infrastructure, manpower, equipment and funding.
We have placed dozens of representatives with different H&ME officials to call for amendments and corrections to existing policies for the welfare of public health, but alas, to date no amendments have been made to streamline them. pharmacy services at J&K. even after the implementation of CPA 1948.
The question arises as to why the health system of Jammu and Kashmir is reluctant to integrate professional pharmaceutical services? Why are patients in this part of the world left at the mercy of underqualified and unqualified people? This system has given rise to many problems, such as the development of antimicrobial resistance due to irrational use of antimicrobial agents, growing concerns about kidney disease due to indiscriminate use of painkillers, increase in counterfeit drugs, illegal sale of potentially abusive drugs, indiscriminate use of steroid drugs and other narrow therapeutic drugs that put the lives of patients at risk.
(The author is the Secretary General of the J&K Pharmacy Graduates Association)