With eyes on patients’ safety, pharmacists in Nigeria have said there is need to increase care settings in community pharmacies and hospitals because it enhances good practice in the prescription and management of medicines.
The experts added that the safe distribution of medication to patients also called dispensing remains a core function of pharmacy practice.
“Medications are powerful tools that, if used correctly, can prevent or treat disease. If used incorrectly, there is potential to cause great harm to people who take them,” said Tobi Osinuga, a pharmacist and Chief executive officer Cypress Pharmacy.
Osinuga, speaking at the unveiling of Cypress Pharmacy in Lagos recently, explained that Pharmacists’ medication distribution and patients’care services increase patients’ understanding of medications and contribute to improving patient safety.
“Access to safer medicine could be achieved from legitimate wholesalers who patronise genuine drug manufacturers and quality medicine is important in getting safe health care. Patients health will be in jeopardy when they fall sick and they have to deal with the problem of using substandard or fake drugs,” she said.
However, in domiciliary services in a number of countries, the pharmacist provides an advisory as well as a supply service to residential homes for the elderly, and other long-term patients. In some countries, policies are being developed under which pharmacists will visit certain categories of house-bound patients to provide the counselling service that the patients would have received had they been able to visit the pharmacy.
“Many people have lost lives while using un-prescribed drugs, Nigerians should desist from the habit of self-medicating for a forwarding moving healthcare system,” advised Blessing Opara pharmacist at Cypress.
Opara added that pharmacists should ensure that the right dose of the right drug reaches the right patient at the right time by the right route which is the minimum standard under which a pharmacist reviews every medication order for each patient.
She also advised that if pharmacists are unsure about interactions or other aspects of prescribing and medicines management, they should seek suggestion from experienced colleagues.