World Pharmacists Day: The importance of pharmacists highlighted

Pharmacists at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital

Under the theme “Transforming global health”, today September 25th, 2020, Pharmacist in Dominica joined the rest of the world in not only observing but celebrating the 10th World Pharmacists Day.

Today, members of the public got the opportunity to understand how pharmacists are transforming health through a variety of health services in their communities, including advising on healthy living, vaccinating to prevent disease, and ensuring that medicines are taken correctly, thereby managing diseases well and improving quality of life.

As highlighted by Chief Pharmacist (Ag.) Anna Royer-Edmund, “We aim to show how pharmacists contribute to a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health technologies, as well as from pharmaceutical care services.”

The message for today’s observance, according to Royer-Edmund,  also covers how pharmaceutical scientists transform and prolong people’s lives by developing safe and effective medicines and vaccines.

She notes, “On the education front, pharmacy educators are transforming outcomes by ensuring that there are enough qualified and competent pharmacists and scientists to meet the growing needs of our societies.”

In celebration of this year’s World Pharmacists Day, members were encouraged to wear T- Shirts depicting the Dominica Pharmaceutical Society and World Pharmacist Day logo and theme. Pharmacists also interacted with clients providing information on their roles and responsibilities as well as provide patient counselling services, mediation therapy management, etc.

The Chief Pharmacist saluted all pharmacists who have contributed and continue to contribute to the development of the pharmacy profession in Dominica.

The Fresh Market pharmacy team

Meantime, speaking to Dominica News Online (DNO) Pharmacist of 26 years, Israel Fontaine, who is also the lead pharmacist at Fresh Market Pharmacy, depicted the profession as a vitally important one, referring to the pharmacist as “the drug expert.”

“Daily, we have to  ensure that the patients get proper pharmaceutical care. We are the go-to person between  the doctor and the patient so it’s our responsibility to procure proper medication or good quality medicine that the patient can use,” Fontaine stated. “We have to ensure that the patient knows why they are taking it, how and what they are taking, and the things they can do and what they cannot do; all of these things fall under our responsibility.”

He said pharmacists also have to ensure that whatever medication patients take is not going to interfere with their disease condition  or interact with another medicine that they are taking or other food that they eat.

He said some of the challenges include accessibility and affordability of certain medicines, especially emergency medicine and the newer ones that are coming out.

Fountaine pointed to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a greater strain on the sector.

“Because of the disease, we have in some way more restrictions than before as it pertains to obtaining top quality medication especially those that are used or have some value in the  treatment of the COVID infections.  The bigger countries that are manufacturing these medications most of them have placed restrictions  on the export of those products,” the Pharmacist stated.

“In the United States, an order can only contain a certain amount of gloves or mask so that’s a challenge in itself for us. However, we have been able to shop around and get alternative brands but it is still a challenge in getting  certain products especially from Europe because a lot of the factories  are operating on skeleton staff and there’s a greater demand for certain products,” he pointed out.

Paracetamol, for example, Fountain went on to explain, are very difficult  to get because of a present ban on placed on the importation of the product from China as well as a limitation on the product from India.

“So COVID-19 has played a part in making medicine more difficult to source,” he noted.

He described the profession as “lucrative” disclosing that anyone who wished to join “will certainly not be unemployed as throughout the world, there is a shortage of over a million pharmacists; so there are jobs available.”

The Fresh Market Chief Pharmacist encouraged persons who are interested in learning more about the profession, to visit the team at Fresh Market or call 1 767 3160310 or 2556883.

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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 28, 2020

    So, Gary, let me give you a hard kick in your behind; you don’t ever try to contradict me because you don’t know!
    I am not a student of Google; I went through college and university; first obtaining degrees in the the Liberal Arts;  electronic, and electrical engineering!
    I later shift my attention to health science, where I majored in biology, in pursuit of a medical degree: In school I learn a pharmacist is an individual who is licensed to prepare, compounds, and dispense drugs upon written order:  “prescription” from a licensed practitioner (medical doctor) also known as a physician, or even a dentist.
    I was taught that a pharmacists is a health care professional who cooperates, and consults with; and sometimes advises the licensed practitioner concerning drugs; they are trained to concentrate on that.
    Indeed they are  supposed to be well educated; a five year curriculum is a minimum, and some curricula require six years.
    Pharmacist’s education gives; her/him advanced…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      September 28, 2020

      Pharmacist’s education gives; her/him advanced knowledge of the chemicals, and physical properties of drugs, and their available dosage forms.
      Due to their training, a pharmacist is qualified to play a significant role in supplying information about drugs, both prescription, and over-the-counter, to  whom such information is most important.
      Because the pharmacist might be the last health care professional to communicate with the patient or the patients care giver before the medication is taken; the pharmacist therefor is in the better position to discus the drug with those concerned.

      The discussion may include any and all side effects associated with the drug that concern the patient, such as the stability of the drug, under various conditions, its toxicity, dosage; and its route of administration, all of which might be reassuring to the patients; by helping to insure compliance with the drug regimen.
      This Gary this is text book material, not from google elementary…

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 28, 2020

    .” the opportunity to understand how pharmacists are transforming health through a variety of health services in their communities, including advising on healthy living, vaccinating to prevent disease, and ensuring that medicines are taken correctly, thereby managing diseases well and improving quality of life.”
    You see in Dominica they must exaggerate in whatever they are involved!
    Vaccination is not part of a pharmacists job; hence only in Dominica, if they go beyond the following job description that; means they are playing doctor. 
    Pharmacist Job Responsibilities: They serves patients by preparing medications, giving pharmacological information to multidisciplinary health care team; that is within the confines of the pharmacy; and monitoring patient drug therapies.
    They prepares medications by reviewing and interpreting physician orders ” prescriptions”  and detecting therapeutic incompatibilities. Dispenses medications by compounding, packaging, and labeling…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      September 28, 2020

      They dispenses medications by compounding, packaging, and labeling pharmaceuticals.

      It is illegal for a pharmacists to diagnose or advised what medication one should take; based on their knowledge; are not supposed to prescribe any form of medication; though they can suggest an over the counter medication.

      Any medication they dispense must be from a written prescription written by a practicing medical doctor.

      In the pharmacy’s these days there are people working as pharmacy technicians, when you pick up your medication, if you have a question regarding the med: even if the technician who delivers it to you knows about the medication, they are not supposed to give you an answer.

      It is mandatory the pharmacists explain the way it is taken, she/he may discus side effects; only nothing more!

    • Gary
      September 28, 2020

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque why are you so ……… ignorant, lol, wallow in your ignorance. Wow.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        September 28, 2020

        Gary, go asks the one who gave you birth the same question about yourself?
        When you have something better than I write anytime to debate me on the subject you can try me; I don’t need to deal with people who walks upside down; and you are one of them!
        Dominica, is the only place I ever heard pharmacists gives vaccinations to people and play doctor; for your information Gary in most pharmacy’s in the modern world they have ” Minuit clinic” within the pharmacy’s where there is always a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistance.

        These people are actually trained in the medical profession, they perform the same duties as doctors; they vaccinate people, they give flue shots, they diagnose people and treat people even in hospitals!

        Gary I am a student of medicine too; the only reason I am not a practicing medical doctor; is because I dropped out of medical school!

         A pharmacists job description is as I stated, like it or not shut up!Just shut up!

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