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Pfizer Marketing Director said the idea behind the Pharmacy academy is about creating a forum where we could engage the Pharmacy world and when we talk about the pharmacy world, we recognise the fact that pharmacists practice in different segments. We have those who practice in Community pharmacy, there are those pharmacists that are pharmacists in our neighbourhood, we have pharmacists practising in the hospital, this are pharmacists, when you go into any hospital be it private or public, we have pharmacy department where you could take your prescription to. The last group of pharmacists are pharmacists that practice within the academic sector, all of the teaching hospital; you have pharmacists who teach pharmaceutical student. So we have created Pharmacy Academy as a forum where we can engage this different set of pharmacists. The one we have here is strictly for community pharmacists and the objective is basically to provide latest up to date medical information to equip pharmacist so they too can best provide quality Healthcare services to patients within their neighbourhood
A consultant urologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr.Funmilade Omisanjo gave this advice while addressing `pharmacists.
He said as a clinician there is a remarkable increase in Erectile Dysfunction among Nigerian men. “The figures we have with us will suggest that at least 30 percent to 40 percent who are above the age of 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction, some are mild form of dysfunction. By the time you look at men who are 60 years and above, at least 25 percent of them have the very severe form of erectile dysfunction.
“So what that means is that if you sit amongst a group of 50 years old you can expect one out of every two of them to have some degree of erectile dysfunction, for most of them it will be the very mild form of erectile dysfunction. Mild in the sense that the men can still have some sexual intercourse but he may find out the extent of the hardness (turgidity) of the penis is not what it used to be, because we measure erectile dysfunction not in the presence of or absence of erection, we also talk about the turgidity of the organ. So it is roughly about one in two in men above 50 years.”
Suggesting further on the professional way out, Dr Omisanjo said;
“For me it will be that in as much as we like patients coming to us sometimes the pharmacists invariably are the first point of call because of the way most pharmacists stores are structured, patients sometimes find it easier to go to a pharmacy in the neighbourhood than going to a doctor that will only be available at teaching hospital setting, so the pharmacist may be the first point of call.
“The important point to stress to pharmacists is that patients who have erectile dysfunction sometimes will come under the guise of all other sort of things. I think the pharmacists should take out time and have a discussion with the patients and when you see there is some degree of erectile dysfunction; you need to encourage the patient to see an expert. Sometimes they may say they need an energy boost or some herbal supplements. I think experts should be sensitive to patients need. When people come with all this kind of loose complaints as it were, probe a little further.
“Not only is it important to obtain proper treatment, more importantly, let the patient get a thorough evaluation so that you do not miss out on anything. So the pharmacists should not only be interested in dispensing the medication but it is always good to have some discussion with the patient, because that may be the only way you may pick erectile dysfunction in some of these men. Most of these men will not want to come out to tell you what they have. That will be my main message to the pharmacists.”
On the impact of the training, Mr. Lere Bale said Pfizer Pharmacy Academy is totally about empowering pharmacists about the principles of patient management with medications and the whole objective is to enhance their knowledge, to give them tools to influence them so that they can have a change of attitude towards new medicines and see the importance of new medications, how much savings every new innovation can bring.
Mr. Bale said every time a company comes up with a new medication, for every dollar you spend on new innovation you will save as much as eight dollars on hospitalisation.
“The training will equip the pharmacists with options or multiple options as to what they can do. It will also enhance their knowledge base on medication on the group of medication for that therapy area, which will therefore spur them into action to know that one can in a while they can pick the drug or they recommend the drug or pick a particular brand even though may be slightly higher in pricing it does not imply that it is cheaper overall. That you think a medicine is cheap does not mean the pharmacological profile, the biopharmaceutical profile of another, its creates more problem when the patient is going back to the hospital, the patient is going to be hospitalized, when the patient is taking a bed space that he shouldn’t have taken in the first instance, in a country like ours where we do not have enough bed space and so the compounding effects is more than imagined,” he said.
Mr. Bale said; “We are also going to be looking at lessons to be learnt on those who will normally substitute or those who will normally say generics are better and without establishing that it is the same thing bio-pharmaceutically or in terms of bio- availability. So when this happen we believe that we will be able to learn some lessons from the experiences they will have before and begin to say NO. If somebody needed to be given this brand but you cannot use pricing alone to determine which the best to be picked is.
“A number of people that will use pricing alone and does not have a means of protecting quality have become victims of substandard drugs; patients have had to have course perforations in typhoid. Many have been blinded on medications that they should have been able to use to manage Glaucoma. I can keep on reeling out virtually all family have been affected by failure of healthcare Practitioners to ensure and insists on people picking the right kind of medications.
“Most times pharmacists have a particular tendency to have psychological attachment or to be emotionally moved when they see the dressing or they see the pictures of the patient in front of them and the feel oh don’t think these ones can afford, they just make up their mind. The person is seeing that he can’t afford this medication as an anti- hypertensive.
The pharmacists is linking, all the total cost in a month but that same guy is taking a bottle of Guinness each day or he is buying aso-ebi which is far more expensive and so people have not actually address the value of medication as an integral part. People should know when you buy in to medication you are actually prolonging your life. You are improving your quality of life. People have put in priority in favour in other things like clothing, like parties and the rest of them. What they should be spending more money on as age is actually healthcare,” he stated.