Tag Archives: World Pharmacist Day

From research to healthcare: Your Pharmacist is at your service

From research to healthcare: Your Pharmacist is at your service

By Bakani M. Ncube

Pharmacists are and have always been the custodians of medicine and our extensive training makes us the most knowledgeable health care professionals when it comes to medicines and their use but that role is evolving with each passing day as we take up a more varied role in the healthcare sector.

The theme for this years’ World Pharmacists Day, “From research to healthcare: Your pharmacist is at your service” was selected and rightfully so by the FIP and the theme “reflects the numerous contributions the pharmacy profession makes to health. From research and development of medicines, to educating future pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, and providing direct care, we do all this in the service of our patients and communities” says FIP President, Dr. Carmen Pena.

The provision of direct care does not begin in a hospital when a patient has been admitted or in a community pharmacy; it begins in a laboratory with research. Taking care of our patients, our fellow human being, starts with the acknowledging and the recognition of health issues of populations and developing medicines, policies and education to tackle them. Currently, an emphasis is being placed on pharmacists as being the “backbone of health care in many different settings”.

“We the pharmacists are often there at the beginning of the process – when the first molecule that effectively treats a disease is identified” explains Dr. Pena and this is a fact that has been proved over the years, the statement brings to mind the biography of Eli Lilly and company (1876 – 1948). He was a pharmacist whose company was the third largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the world on its fiftieth anniversary in 1926 owing to the research they were carrying out that led to insulin. The Lilly Company’s contribution was the movement from a small scale laboratory production of insulin to large scale manufacture after the research work carried out by a team from the University of Toronto. This was a genuine partnership between science and industry and pharmacists were at the forefront of this work. In 1924, J.K Lilly proudly wrote, “The days of Creek Indian remedies were gone, replaced by an expertise and a confidence that encouraged aggressive searching for sophisticated and efficacious new drugs and new ways to manufacture them”.

Research is the systematic investigation, including testing and development, designed to develop and contribute to generalizable knowledge. An increasing portion of human research is now becoming information based with clinical trials being the most common form of health research.. Research techniques and findings have evolved continually throughout the last century and we have had our part to play in this.

Ensuring research is an integral part of the healthcare system and it encourages all professionals to question and rationalize clinical management. It creates a culture of continual learning and development and assists us to learn more about our chosen area, to have confidence in the treatments we are offering and to learn from our patients. Evidence has shown that patients who receive care in research active hospitals have better health outcomes owing to research active institutions offering wider treatment options and more opportunities to be included in clinical trials. This highlights the importance of research to overall service delivery, to us as pharmacists being at our patients service.

A lot of work has been done and is still being done as far as research goes and the onus is on us to ensure that research and development continue to occur for the benefit of our patients who rely on us for medical interventions.

 ncubebakani@gmail.com

Role of Pharmacists in transformation of research to health care

Role of Pharmacists in transformation of research to health care

By Nyasha Mazorodze

Thoughtful contemplation of human morbidity and related mortalities elicited the interest of various members of the health care team to ensure human health. Since pharmacists focus on the safe and effective use of medication, they are important pillars of health care. Pharmacists exhibit their services in a wide variety of approaches ranging from being involved in research to the provision of health care directly to the population. Therefore, they play a crucial role in the transformation of research to health care.

In order to make proper clinical decisions pertaining drug research, pharmacists play an integral role. In the case of an outbreak of a certain unknown disease, pharmacists play a major role in research during the development of the medication necessary to eradicate that disease. For example in 2014, there was an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and research was prioritised in order to develop a vaccine which has an immune response against Ebola virus surface protein. As such, pharmacists are able to use similar clinical and biomedical research in order to control and prevent spread of diseases. Pharmacists are also involved in clinical tests during the drug development to ensure safety of the patients and monitoring for any side effects and unwanted reactions.

Dispensing drugs is also one of the areas traditionally taken care of by pharmacists. Drug abuse is tremendously becoming a problem nowadays and therefore pharmacists must only give certain medications to patients who really need the medications after they supply a proper prescription from a medical doctor. Pharmacists also carry out research on prescription of drugs and this will help them understand the impacts that certain drugs have on different individuals. This will help them to maintain health safety and reduce the effects of drug abuse and drug addiction. Pharmacists will also be in a position to counsel other medical practitioners on the expected side effects of some drugs and recommending counter measures thus ensuring the health care of the community. After research has been conducted some regulations pertaining prescription of drugs are put in place to ensure the safe use of drugs by the patients.

Encouraging the proper use of medication and also promotion of health is one of the main roles of pharmacists. Perhaps, the leading cause of drug resistance is improper use of drugs. An example is not completing a prescribed course of medication. This will lead to adaptation of pathogenic bacteria to low dose medication and eventually a form of a population that is unresponsive to the medication no matter the dosage. To ensure that drugs are properly used, pharmacists must counsel the patients and encourage them to use medication appropriately as well as enlightening them on possible effects of not using the drugs properly. Research is therefore conducted by pharmacists on the reasons for some of the improper uses of medication so that they educate them basing on that information. In the event of drug resistance, research is carried out by pharmacists in order to develop new medication to replace the one available thereby ensuring the health care of the community.

Passing by a pharmacy is very common especially in urban settings. As such, there is a misconception with the majority of people that the profession of pharmacy is only concerned with the traditional way of dispensing drugs. However, “From research to health care: Your pharmacist is at your service.”

nyashamazorodze15@gmail.com

References

Dixon MG, Schafer IJ, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ebola viral disease outbreak--West Africa, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014; 63: 548–51

AHSF drug information, 1999, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, 7272 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Meinolf Kuper and Helen Tata. Bamenda, Cameroun. (1989). Guidelines for Managing a Pharmacy (unpublished)

From research to health care: Your Pharmacist is at your service

From research to health care: Your Pharmacist is at your service

By Ekpoh Mfonobong

Pharmacy is the art, practice, or profession of preparing, preserving, compounding, and dispensing medical drugs. Howbeit, this noble profession has evolved over the years with its development and expansion resulting in a profession more diverse than was previously seen. Its areas of expertise span a great width. Thus, the robustness of the profession buttresses the need for diversification, in order to facilitate provision of better services to its populace. Different fronts of the profession include:

  • Research and Development Pharmacy
  • Industrial Pharmacy
  • Hospital Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Social and Administrative Pharmacy
  • Pharmacists in the Academia etc.

The choice of a specialty gives more knowledge, helps one to contribute extensively and maximize all opportunities available for self-improvement.

Furthermore, the paradigm shift of the profession from product-oriented to patient-oriented with researches and modifications of already existing policies has led to the current Pharmacy philosophy- Pharmaceutical Care (PC). PC is the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient's quality of life (Hepler and Strand 1990). This philosophy has greatly improved rendered services, as such, in whatever specialty, improving the patient's quality of life is the focus. So in case you are wondering, "Why strive to do better?" "Why the quest for more knowledge?" "Why enact policies to improve already set strategies?” The answer is not far-fetched- "We are at your service!”

Pharmacists play key roles in clinical research. In this era of collaborative practice terms, these researches may address important questions that facilitate improved patient care or service delivery, without specifically advancing Pharmacy practice, but still contributing to the scientific literature as a whole and may add little to the entire health care system (Sheri et al 2011). These research results are harnessed to improve the quality of life of patients. Pharmacists have been exposed to science and according to Bertolt Brecht, "The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom but to set a limit on infinite error." With the knowledge obtained, both from new medical researches and those peculiar to practicing environs, pharmacists persevere to facilitate its application in healthcare. This shows the usefulness of enacting new policies and continually assessing strides achieved in a given time to seek further ways of improving healthcare.

From research to healthcare; a lot of work is required. Rendering service to anyone requires diligence; no wonder Iroquois Maxim says; "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." With this, Pharmacists have a duty towards self and the populace despite varied responsibilities among the different areas of expertise. Saddled with the responsibility of achieving the best medication treatment outcomes for patients, ensuring cost-effectiveness and safe therapy, Pharmacists are medication experts. Services such as Clinical researches (Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes, Global Health Issues); Pharmacogenetic therapy (individualization of therapy according to genetic makeup of a person); Modified release forms of tablets produced by Industrial Pharmacists for concordance; training future health professionals; Pharmacists involvement in creating awareness for the existence, treatment and prevention of diseases; Patient education, counseling and provision of expertise information about drug composition and posology; Pharmacists involvement in policy making and actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) etc show our values.

Conclusively, the holistic view of the pharmacy profession reveals the different aspects that are paramount for an all rounded practice. Notwithstanding that diversities of this practice exist, the efforts of each aspect of the profession is channeled towards meeting the health care needs of the society and to which end we can proudly say, we are your pharmacists and at your service.

mfonobongekpoh@gmail.com

References

Sheri L Koshman and Joseph Blais (2011). What is Pharmacy Research?. Can J Hosp Pharm.; 64(02): 154-155