Pharmacists play a crucial role in medication safety, and there should be improved efforts to ensure the appropriate use of medicines through proper storage and distribution by qualified pharmacists, observed experts at the 7th Annual Pharmacy Conference organized by the College of Pharmacy of Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman on February 24, 2017.
The conference, themed “Safe Use of Medicines and Role of a Community Pharmacist,” and held at the GMU campus was attended by doctors, pharmacists and healthcare professionals from across the country. It was accredited by MOH for 5 CME hours. The conference stressed the need for the proper involvement of community pharmacists in medicine management and overall healthcare program.
Speaking on the importance of the conference, Prof. Arun Shirwaikar – Dean of GMU’s College of Pharmacy said that its aim was to emphasize the role of community pharmacists in ensuring patient safety and proper handling of medicines and to train and educate them. “Community pharmacists have a very important role as members of the healthcare team. Considering that they are the first line of contact for patients in matters related to medicines, they have a crucial role to play in preventing the misuse of medicine which might result in toxicity, as well as scenarios like antibiotics overuse which hamper effectiveness.”
The conference noted the increasing need to educate and orient community pharmacists beyond the traditional role of dispensing, to also properly store and handle medicines. Pharmacists should be well-equipped to take up this greater role.
Subject/Industry experts spoke on different aspects, covering topics such as Safe use of antimicrobials in the community pharmacy practice (by Dr. Dixon Thomas, Asst. Professor – GMU), Addressing medication errors can improve patient safety (by Dr. Suraj Radhamani, Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy, GMU), Classification of medication errors and prevention strategies (by Dr. Lana Hammad, Pharmacy Manager, Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital, Umm Al Quwain), Monitoring and reporting of adverse drug reactions: community pharmacists’ role in pharmacovigilance activities (by Dr. Subish Palaian, Associate Professor of Pharmacy, Practice, College of Pharmacy, GMU), Safety perspectives of OTC medications (by Dr. Shabaz, Lecturer and Clinical Pharmacist, Thumbay Hospital, Ajman), Adverse drug reactions of over the counter medication – interpretation of evidence based reports and prevention (by Dr. Kishore Gnana Sam, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, GMU).
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