Redefining pharmacist’s role in global health

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - FEATURES -

SOME 650 pharmacists from different countries gathered on Aug. 3 at the University of Immaculate Conception (UIC)–Bajada Campus to earn a certificate course in Global Health Pharmacy.

Organized by UIC in collaboration with Management and Science University (MSU) of Malaysia, in partnership with Philippine Pharmacists Association–Davao Chapter, the event aims to redefine pharmacists’ role in global health.

Dr. Erwin Martinez Faller, senior lecturer of MSU-Malaysia’s school of pharmacy and international consultant of Petrosphere Inc., Philippines said that pharmacists’ role in global health is now geared towards patientcentered services rather than product-oriented.

“This certificate course will give training and awareness to pharmacists preparing for the globalization and Asean integration. It introduced them to the expansion extended services to the people as a pharmacist. We involved the concept of global health pharmacy to the community because we want to underscore that we have a big role as a pharmacist to the community,” he said.

The three-day event, which ended on Aug. 5, is the 2nd International Certificate Course, first was held in Malaysia last year. The previous event gathered 40 participants from different countries like Nigeria, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Canada, and Australia, among others, who are clinical, hospital and community pharmacists.

The three-day event featured series of lectures from seven speakers. It was also supported by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio emphasizing the role of the pharmacists to the local community and participation of pharmacists in the millennium sustainable development goals of United Nations.

Social and Halal Pharmacy

MSU Malaysia Dean of the school of Pharmacy Dr. Mohd Fadli Mohd Asmani said in a separate interview that a new approach in pharmacy dubbed as social pharmacy emphasizes strong relationship between the community and the pharmacists.

“First we try to look on the clinical pharmacy role, but on top of it, we add social pharmacy to strengthen the role of pharmacists towards global health issue. This concept may be new in the Philippines but to some countries like Malaysia it is already widely embraced,” he said.

Also, Asmani shared that they also would want to introduce Halal pharmacy in the country.

“It (Halal pharmacy) is really booming in Malaysia, also in Japan, they have a halal center there. The market for halal is very big and there is still few players, might as well take advantage, take this opportunity,” he added.

Extended Pharmacy Services

University Sains Malaysia Professor Dr. Mohamed Azi Ahmad Hassali, for his part said, a new approach called “Extended Pharmacy Services” will correct the misconception that pharmacists are just mere product or medicine pusher.

“We need to understand that pharma is a healthcare professional, we have a bigger role to play in the health of the population. We look at extended pharmacy services as something more than just giving medicines. It tells about what pharmacy can do within the regulatory framework, what they can do, and what they can achieve in terms of giving the best services to the patient, optimizing their health,” he said.

With extended services, he said, the patient needs to be monitored quite frequently, thus, pharmacists will spend more time with the patient.

“I think now’s major problem in healthcare is the increasing cost, pharmacists doing extended services can add value to the patient care and can save human cost at a level that can be accepted by the society,” he added.

DAVAO City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio (fifth from left) graced the gathering of some 650 pharmacists from different countries at the University of Immaculate Concepcion-Bajada Campus. She is joined by (from left) Annabelle A. Ribo, RPh, MATCC, MSc; Dr. May Florence D. Bacayo; Prof. Dr. Mohamad Azmi Ahmad Hassali; Prof. Dr. Eddy Yusuf; S. Ma. Gilda S. Saljay, RPh; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Fadli Bin Mohd Asmani, RPh, MSc, PhD; Mr. Erwin Martinez Faller, BSc, RPh, MSc, PhD; Prof. Dr. Nutinee Teerakulkittipong; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Makmor Bakry; Ma. Theresa LegionHernandez, RPh, Clin. Pharm; and Dr. Aaron Mark Hernandez.

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