Congrats on a job well done
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.