Con­grats on a job well done

Jamaica Gleaner - - MESSAGE - DR CHRISTO­PHER TUFTON, MP Min­is­ter of Health

IWANT to con­grat­u­late the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety of Ja­maica (PSJ) which has been around for more than 70 years and has been demon­strat­ing lead­er­ship in safe­guard­ing the pop­u­la­tion by pro­mot­ing the proper use of med­i­ca­tion, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal de­vices and ser­vices. Your ef­forts have helped to es­tab­lish re­gional and in­ter­na­tional links; be­ing ad­mit­ted into the mem­ber­ship of Com­mon­wealth Phar­macy As­so­ci­a­tion (CPA) and sim­i­lar or­gan­i­sa­tions, and the for­ma­tion of the Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion of Phar­ma­cists (CAP).

The PSJ has also es­tab­lished this im­por­tant National Phar­macy Week Pro­gramme, which highlights to the pub­lic some of the as­pects in which the phar­macy pro­fes­sion is en­gaged, and af­fords phar­ma­cies the op­por­tu­nity to im­ple­ment spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach ac­tiv­i­ties such as health fairs and ca­reer talks in the com­mu­ni­ties.

Phar­macy pol­icy, prac­tice and re­search are im­por­tant pil­lars in safe­guard­ing pub­lic health and, in gen­eral the well-be­ing of our cit­i­zens. Phar­ma­cists play a crit­i­cal role in ad­dress­ing lifestyle dis­eases. Ac­cord­ing to the WHO re­port on

The Role of the Phar­ma­cist in the Health Care Sys­tem, 1994,

wher­ever pop­u­la­tions are age­ing, the preva­lence of chronic dis­ease is in­creas­ing, and the range of med­i­ca­tions is broad­en­ing, drug ther­apy has be­come the most fre­quently used form of med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion in ev­ery prac­tice set­ting.

While ap­pro­pri­ate drug ther­apy is in­dis­pens­able to safe and cost­ef­fec­tive health care, the con­se­quences of in­ap­pro­pri­ate drug ther­apy, both for pa­tients and so­ci­ety in gen­eral, are con­sid­er­able. Phar­ma­cists there­fore have a key role to play in meet­ing the needs of the in­di­vid­ual and so­ci­ety in this re­gard.

The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try is also big busi­ness and the roles of phar­ma­cists are ever-chang­ing and have be­come even more com­pet­i­tive. The in­dus­try is un­der­go­ing a pe­riod of very sig­nif­i­cant trans­for­ma­tion with own­er­ship be­com­ing more con­cen­trated. In fact, 15 multi­na­tional com­pa­nies dom­i­nate the in­dus­try. Al­ready, 14 of these com­pa­nies do busi­ness in Ja­maica with their prod­ucts be­ing dis­trib­uted through phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal dis­trib­u­tors lo­cated on the is­land.

The im­prove­ment in the de­liv­ery of phar­macy ser­vices is a ma­jor pri­or­ity of the health sec­tor and is one of my ma­jor ar­eas of fo­cus. The thrust is to stream­line phar­macy ser­vices and raise the level of their per­for­mance to a more cus­tomer-fo­cused and ef­fi­ciently man­aged ser­vice. This will only be at­tained through the strong sup­port of all our phar­ma­cists and a ro­bust pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship. Once again I con­grat­u­late the PSJ on your years of con­tri­bu­tion and I wish for you all the best with this year’s week of ac­tiv­i­ties.


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