Written by: Awais Shakeel, College of Pharmacy, University of Sargodha.
Pharmacy profession is undergoing a revolutionary process not only in Pakistan but also in other countries. Almost every profession suffers abuse due to personal or organizational gains but when it comes to a healthcare profession, these abuses are intolerable because health is the basis of survival and it cannot be compromised.
These abuses start from the pharmacists themselves. Graduate students of Pharmacy who are responsible for spreading knowledge about this noble profession fail to preserve the sanctity of this life-saving profession. They are not able to make changes in the prescription. They don’t have a proper know-how of drug interaction, drug mechanism and precautions related to the drug. They give financial gain a preference over the patient’s health.
Chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies are different type of pharmacies. Chain pharmacies are under the control of the government. Independent pharmacies are owned by a person.
Lack of applied work experience and realistic approach is one of the most important issues which create a lot of problems for Pharmacist community. Pakistani people consider pharmacist as a person who only makes medicines in industry as well as sale these medicines in pharmacies. On the other hand a pharmacist knows every thing about a medicine. They know the art of comforting a patient by proper drug use.
Mishandling and ill-use of drugs or medicines is the major abuse in the field of pharmacy. Some of them are listed below.
Habitual taking of illegal drugs and failure to abstain from it is a big contribution to adverse health conditions. Community pharmacists should keep a check on the prescriptions and dosage frequency so as to discourage substance abuse and make the drug addicts realize the harmful effects of it at the same time.
A chemist just dispenses you the medicines written on your prescription whereas a pharmacist is an authorized medical professional who supervises the compounding and dispensing of drugs. He keeps in view the suitability of a drug with the patient’s health condition and guides him about its dosage.
Pharmaceutical companies who compromise on quality of the medicine try to gain profit by using less expensive substitutes in composition. However they should know the fact that a less effective medicine created by compromising quality will just ruin their brand reputation.
When you use a drug for the wrong purpose or the wrong drug is dispensed to the patient due to negligence or unawareness, this leads to adverse health results.
Due to lack of vacancies and low salaries for the pharmacists, they rent their categories. This is only a disrespect of the pharmacy field and a devaluation of this sacred service.
Quacks stick big pieces of tape on the role of pharmacists. They use the names of medical services to illegal money. This not only places a negative impact of pharmacy and other health professions on the people but also the people lose their trust in the services. Strong legal action must be taken against them.
Unless a patient gives an authorized prescription, the prescriptive drugs must not be sold over the counter. It is the duty of the Pharmacist to be vigilant in the prescriptive drugs sale.
Pakistani government or officials need to invest in pharmacy profession. A proper job setup and availability of vacancies should be assured. Non-governmental Organizations should work to develop rapid progression in this field. These associations should work free from political interference in order to obtain admirable results in regard of this profession.
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