Cross Section of participants at the 2023 PSN Colloquium
Last weekend marked the conclusion of the 2Day annual PSN Colloquium event held at Amber Residence, GRA Ikeja, Lagos; under the banner ‘Repositioning Pharmacy in an Unstable Economy.’ The historical colloquium convened on the 3rd and 4th of February, 2023, with array of notable leaders from the pharmaceutical sector to address the state of the industry in the face of the present economic crunch, and how to progress within the key drive of technology in the pharmaceutical profession.
Addressing the conference, the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. (Prof.) Cyril Odianose Usifoh hinged the essence of the colloquium on the imperative need to strengthen and dialogue among stakeholders to create a meaningful synergy among the pharmaceutical society to boost the sector with set priorities for the year ahead; hence, the choice of the theme: Repositioning Pharmacy in an Unstable Economy. The ebullient professor of pharmacy went ahead to harp on the importance of all arms of the profession – hospitals, community, regulatory, academic, and industries, working together, hand in hand to provide what the society desperately need at this critical period of recession; looking at the importance of manufacturing for the health of the global economy and well-being of society. He said, “no one (young or old) must therefore be left behind as everyone has something important to add. He assured that this synergy will avail much good to the pharmacy profession and the society at large. While challenging the academia pharmacist to endeavour to produce quality students in pharmacy, who he strongly believes will be saddled with the responsibility of the future pharmacy in the society. To facilitate this, Prof. Cyril assured that the association would work with deans of universities to improve their capacity building and introduce mentoring programme for young pharmacists. Prof Cyril also used the opportunity to inform that the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) will be hundred years come 2027. While constituting committee for the ceremony in next few months, he also assured the centenary celebration will be marked in grand style as the association has much to celebrate.
Welcoming the delegates to the colloquium in high spirit, the chairperson, organising committee of the event Pharm. Mrs Olayinka Oredola described the summit as an opportunity for strengthening internal dialogues and creation of meaningful synergies amongst pharmacists across the various technical groups and thereafter building resourceful and strategic alliances with government, policy makers, pharmaceutical operators, entrepreneurs and global investors towards the renaissance of the Pharmacy profession.
She eulogized the pharmacy profession as a great one with great and highly cerebral people who have much to offer the nation; hence, the choice of the theme of the colloquium, Repositioning Pharmacy in an Unstable Economy, which she assured would be dealt with by insightful speakers to facilitate knowledge sharing in the pharmacy profession.
With the view that the colloquium may be out of touch with issues that affect the pharmaceutical industry, chairman of the occasion, Prince Julius Adeluyi, OFR, invested on the mission of the 2023 colloquium to create meaningful synergy within the pharmaceutical society, their various technical groups and also creating resourceful and strategic alliance with government, policy makers as well as international organisations, entrepreneurs and global investors towards the renaissance of the pharmaceutical profession. He explained that ‘there was a need to change direction and make a difference to become heavy weight rather than punch lower their weight by not only making observation and recommendation. He said: “Professionals who narrow their opportunities become expert in complaints which are self-destroying attitude,” Rather than complain, Prince Adeluyi asked pharmacists to use what they have to get what they want by leveraging into technology. Citing the challenges facing the pharmaceutical society of Nigeria, he decried the lack of documentation of data and record keeping in the society and advised that it need to be urgently addressed.
The chairman strongly appealed to members of the profession that there is need to erase the unhealthy rivalry between pharmacists and doctors; but rather focus on how to correct wrong perceptions of the profession and how to gain more ground in the society and not to be taken for granted. He appealed to the pharmacist using the slogan ‘aluta continua, victoria ascenta’ to continue to fight for their profession, rebuild, recreate and bring new realities into pharmaceutical profession.
Fidelis Ayebae, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidson Healthcare Plc was the Chairman of the Day2 of the colloquium. In his address, he commended the organisers of the colloquium for the remarkable feat; and all arms of the pharmacy profession as one that has contributed immensely to national development through the training they have skilfully displayed over the time in Nigeria and Africa at large. He harps on the need for researches to grow the profession and develop an action plan to run with. This he said would help to bring in fresh ideas, and of course add value and wealth to the profession. He challenged members of the pharmaceutical body to go out there and be impactful not only in contributing to the pharmacy profession, but also identifying with the national polity and relevant authorities for decision making. “We have to meet the powers that be and make our impact felt in a strategic way to draw value to ourselves.” He urged.
Prof Lere Baale, a guest speaker for the colloquium discussed on the need for transformation in the pharmaceutical profession. With an Agile Solution Roadmap, he said direction should be addressed with vision, understanding, clarity, agility, resilience and divergence. “Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers and to reposition pharmacy, there is a need to change the face by taking action to effect change.” Prof. Lere said. He noted that there are opportunities and resources in Nigeria but the structure of leadership is very important in any society that wants to transform. He said the solution to transformation is continuous education, reinvention and rethinking. He opined further that the future of clinical pharmacy practice will likely be characterised by greater collaboration, increased use of technology and greater emphasis on patient centred care.
Another notable speaker during the colloquium is Dr Femi Rabiu. In his address, he lamented the lack of synergy between the Pharmaceutical industry and Universities in Nigeria. He disclosed that there are 170 Universities in Nigeria but no structural pathway to promote knowledge exchange between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. He added that the potential value of a university-industry relationship within the pharmaceutical industry is been underestimated as there is a low-level entrepreneurship mindset within the university community.
Dr Rabiu opined that for a university- industry collaboration to exist, there is the need for a shared vision partnership between stakeholders, commit and engage resources to fulfil strategic intent and monitor progress as well as understand that successful partnership takes time. He listed key enablers of collaboration to include, government and government agencies, universities or research institutes, pharmaceutical industry and professional bodies or advocacy groups.
To this end, he proposed the need to enact laws to foster public – private partnership, establish tariff or tax incentives for companies that are involved in research and development work, structured to facilitate university industry collaboration as well as provide funding options and grants to support university-industry collaboration.
Erudite professor of pharmacy and Vice Chancellor of Chrisland University, Prof. Peace Babalola also joins in on the need for synergy approaches that hold the greatest promise for effective science collaboration. She describes the colloquium as one designed to make pharmacy profession standard and situate itself where it’s supposed to be in healthcare services. She specifically highlights the point of the chairperson of the event which she said is key to the development and growth of the profession. She also commended the president of the association, Prof. Cyril Odianose Usifoh, who she describes as focused with worthy roadmap for the association. She advised that the message of the colloquium should not just be heard in the conference room of the colloquium but must be preached and practise in every crane and corner for all to know about this worthy profession. She alluded to the fact that she has gained so much from the colloquium which she is going to type out to add to the body of knowledge.
The colloquium has come and gone; but the memory will linger for long time to come. For the cutely organised scientific conference, the credit goes to the Pharm. Olayinka Oredola, the organising chairperson of the colourful event. In a chat with CEOAfrica, she expressed her profound gratitude to the PSN president who counted her worthy as such; and of course the committee members who she described as very supportive. She expressed her confidence on the leaders to walk the talk of the colloquium, putting everything to practice as stated in the communiqué.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN) is the umbrella body of all pharmacists in all hospitals, community, regulatory, academic, and industries in Nigeria.