• Friday, July 12, 2024
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Clinical pharmacists urged to show leadership in healthcare policies

Clinical pharmacists urged to show leadership in healthcare policies

Anthony Ikeme, a former president of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA), has urged clinical pharmacists to show leadership in the healthcare sector by developing relevant value propositions that can transform Nigeria’s healthcare system.

Ikeme, who is also the co-founder and managing partner of Pharmamedics Inc., USA, gave this charge in an interview with journalists at the first annual scientific conference of the Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria (CPAN) held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently.

Ikeme said there was a need for a paradigm shift from the current state of play in the industry, where too many stakeholders were jostling for positions instead of seeking ways to improve their professions and make an impact. Ikeme noted that the critical question that must be answered by healthcare professionals was the value each stakeholder group brings to the table and not about hierarchy.

“It is not just your hierarchical position; it is your value proposition. What value do you bring to the table? Can you measure or quantify your value to the team, and the patients? Is your indispensability in the healthcare team clear and demonstrable?” Ikeme said.

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He explained that focus on such value propositions was necessary for improvements in the healthcare sector and would help shine the light on the critical role of the clinical pharmacist in a nation’s healthcare delivery.
According to him, “Clinical pharmacists are not only the healthcare team’s medication experts but also the champion for patients’ education and overall wellbeing.”

Ikeme, who also founded Clintriad, a company invested in clinical trials in Africa, said he was aware of the obstacles to advancing healthcare in Nigeria, among which are poor leadership and management, often reflected in poor and incoherent healthcare policies; the dearth of healthcare professionals; inadequate budgetary allocation to the sector, which has led to poor infrastructure; the twin issues of accessibility and affordability; and the largely uninformed consumers of healthcare services.

He, however, urged pharmacists to “take ownership of your turf and be adept at accessing, mobilising, and applying knowledge to optimise medication therapy and promote health, wellness, and disease prevention.”

He highlighted areas where pharmacists can provide value and leadership to include knowledge, quality and system improvement, process, and research and innovation. And this, he said, can be achieved if CPAN provides professional improvement support through “access to cutting-edge journals, best practice training and dissemination of learnings from its conferences, strategic partnerships with diasporan counterparts such as NAPPSA, collaborations with other like-minded professionals, and push for the addition of leadership in pharmacy degree curriculum.”