The President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Prof. Cyril Odinaose Usifo, has stated that the issuance of generic licence to pharmacists in Nigeria is being reconsidered, as an effort to promote the effectiveness in the sector.
This was explained by the former Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Benin, at the one-day public lecture organized by the Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria (CPAN), on Thursday, 22nd September, 2022, as one of the activities marking the Pharmacists’ Week.
In his response to the remarks earlier made by the Chairman, CPAN Board of Trustees, Prof. Azuka Opara, who lamented on the nature of the licence being issued to pharmacists in Nigeria yearly, the don, who had earlier stated that the Federal Ministry of Health frustrates the pharmacy profession, as well as other healthcare officials in the country, explained that such generic licence will soon be a thing of the past.
He added that just like the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, Nigerian Postgraduate College of Pharmacists is expected to be established soon, as contained in a bill being proposed in the National Assembly; this he explained will further promote specialisation and efficiency in the profession.
In her keynote speech, the Vice Chancellor, Chrisland University, Prof. Chinedum Peace Babalola, explained that the profession has suffered many setbacks in the past and has to move forward.
According to the former Dean Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ibadan and first female Pharmacist Fellow African Academy of Science, “I felt so bad when the government was setting up a Committee on Fighting Malaria, at a point, and there was no pharmacist in the committee”.
The one-million-dollar Mac Arthur research grant lead winner further highlighted that the siting of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, was also a concern to her, when she was there on a research assignment.
The African Union Nobel Laureate, who spoke on the theme of the lecture, “Pharmacists United in Action for a Healthier World: Nigeria Clinical Pharmacy Specialty Groups in Focus”, stressed the need for pharmacists to be united and shun the desire for strife and unhealthy rivalry, while calling for more collaboration among health service officials.
The woman of many first further raised concern over the neglect of rural communities across the country by some pharmacists, stating that they also need quality healthcare.
Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, who chaired the event, noted that there are about 15 or more specialty areas, even within the Clinical Pharmacy, that is open for practitioners to explore; she stated that the era of confining a pharmacist in a drug dispensary box is far gone.
Meanwhile, the Chairman CPAN Board of Trustees, Prof. Azuka Opara, had lamented on the nature of licence being issued to pharmacists in Nigeria yearly; according to him, “Anytime I look at the licence given to me many years ago, I weep. This is because many things on the licence, I don’t do. but many things I do are not on the licence.”
Prof. Wilson Erhu, who also spoke at the event, called on pharmacists to avoid the quest for individual credit and collaborate for the common good of patients, as pharmacists, especially clinical, are delicate in solving the problem of prescription errors ravaging Nigeria and Africa at large.
In his own speech, Prof. Chimezie Anyakora stressed that lack of specialization has cost the pharmacy profession a lot in the country, as Dr Mutiyat Olu-Lawal corroborated by stating that for every single pharmacist employed in some organisations, about four or five nurses, doctors and medical lab scientists have been employed, as those fields give proper consideration to specialization unlike Pharmacy.
The National Chairman of CPAN, Dr Joseph Madu, while welcoming the guests, called on pharmacists to unite in action, stating that any healthcare system that takes pharmacy for granted is bound to fail.
Other diginitaries at the event include Registrar, Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, Pharm. Ibrahim Babashehu, Chairman, Faculty of Clinical Pharmacy in the West African Postgraduae College of Pharmacy, Prof. (Barr.) N.N. Wannag (who also unveiled the new logo), President, Nigerian Pharmacist and Pharmaceutical Scientist Association, Dr Teresa Isichei-Pounds and many more.
High point of the event was the unveiling of the new logo of the ACPN, which captures the colours, as well as the core objectives and principles of the ACPN and Pharmacy in general.