ISLAMABAD – Three-day 17th International Pharmacy Conference focussing on ‘Pharmacy Profession and 21st Century’ concluded here on Saturday.

Renowned scholars from USA, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland presented more than 50 research papers in the conference organised by Pakistan Pharmacist Association (PPA).

Prof Dr Massom Yazdani, VC Quaid-e-Azam University, chaired the concluding session of the conference. Sharing his views on the occasion he appreciated the organisers on arranging such a successful conference. He said the conference should be a positive step for initiating the thought provoking debate on the important topic of medicine which is directly linked with the lives of people.  He said third world countries are facing a number of issues and health is one of the major concerns for them.

The world is a global village now and technology is improving rapidly so it is imperative for all of us to perform their duties efficiently and work dedicatedly for the welfare of the mankind, he expressed.

He lauded scholars working in the field around the world for experience and knowledge sharing at this conference and hoped that these collective efforts would be proved fruitful for nurturing this field and new research studies would a milestone for professionals of this sector.

Prof Dr Saeedul Haq, President Pakistan Pharmacist Association, while concluding the conference demanded that the role of pharmacist should be recognised at all levels as custodian of medicines in public as well as private sectors. He said pharmacist is an integral part of health delivery system and without them the goal of health for all could not be achieved Therefore, he added, profession of Pharmacy is considered as a life-saving profession worldwide.

He emphasised to enhance the role of pharmacists while formulating the National Drug Policy. “The targets set by Millennium Develop Goals (MGs) and Health for all cannot be achieved without the utilising and establishing the pharmacy services in the country in its true sense.

Presenting recommendation of the moot in the concluding session, President PPA Prof Dr Saeedul Haq appreciated participations of all the scholars and their valuable contribution. He said experts suggested that pharmacist should be given a major role in policy making and PPA must be taken on board as being the solo representative body of the community.

They also asked for establishment of Phamacovigilane Centre headed by a pharmacist, adding that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) should be a graduate in pharmacy.

They demanded that ownership of all pharmacies should be allotted to pharmacists as being practiced in other countries like Turkey, adding, drug sale license should only be issued to pharmacists.

They also recommended that training of pharmacists should be commenced regularly whereas, a program should be announced by the government for the capacity building of professionals of this sector.

Scholarships should be announced for Pharmacists, they suggested adding, all public hospitals should induct Pharm D internees and give special attention on their training besides providing them extra benefits/facilities.

Industrial pharmacist should be paid at least Rs.25000 monthly as starting pay.

In public hospitals, the job assignments of pharmacists should be revised and access to the patient should be provided to act profession. Qualification cum experience should be the basic criteria for promotion.

Pharmaceutical industry and academia should be bound to join hands in new research in the field of patient compliance and enhance role of pharmacist in use of medicine.

They also asked for development of pharmaceutical industry with indigenous research and more World Health Organization (WHO) approved plants, while improved patient care through delivery of pharmaceutical care in the hospitals is also imperative.

They also suggested for initiating Nationwide Pharmacovigilance programme at all levels in hospitals and at community pharmacies. Enhancement of the role of pharmacist at community pharmacies was also sought as it remained an ignored area in past, they said adding extensive facilities should be provided for conducting research for bringing a major change in this sector.

Academia shall be recognized as a major stake holder in all policy decisions and Policies and Regulation should be sensitive to Public health concerns, they recommended

There should be balance between public health and business concerns and an  affective Partnerships should be developed in the region, they said adding  that Pakistan Pharmacist Association  should take initiative to hold SAARC Pharmacist conference in Pakistan.

In the end shield were also conferred on among the organizing committee.

Major pharmaceutical firms have also displayed their products and literature in the conference.

More than 2,000 people from the field of Pharmacy, government officials, health practitioners and media persons attended the conference.