Role of Pharmacists – Pakistan Verses Developed Countries

By Dr. Ayesha Javed

Pharmacists have become an integral and vital part of any health care team all over the world and the role of pharmacists is getting even bigger and highly challenging. It’s not the era of mere diagnosing, it’s the era of providing quality health services with multi-dimensional approach and improving the quality of life of society overall. Pharmacists work as pharmacotherapy specialists, emergency pharmacists, specialized pharmacists like geriatric pharmacists, pediatric pharmacists, onco-pharmacist, cardio-specialist pharmacist etc.

Pharmaco-economics and Pharmacogenomics are highly specialized and emerging fields of the pharmacy profession where pharmacists play a very unique role in patient care. Clinical trials and surveillance of drugs and therapies are not new for any healthcare member. Furthermore pharmacists works from ensuring the availability of healthcare products and rational use of these products to patient counseling to more skilled and knowledge demanding areas like mentioned above


In Pakistan the scenario of pharmacy profession is highly disappointing. There are not enough clinical pharmacy posts in hospitals and currently few pharmacists are appointed in government hospitals in Lahore. One pharmacist per 50 beds criteria is not working as clinical pharmacists. They are doing duties in purchase or store sections of hospitals.

In retail setup the pharmacists are involved in mere purchasing and other managerial functions. They either don’t have enough time for direct patient care or they are not paid for any kind of clinical services.

Now in Pakistan who is going to take the lead in establishing clinical pharmacy services? You? Me? Or Who?

Well it’s not the matter of you or me, it’s the matter of “We”, “Us”.

“We” pharmacists should bring the change in providing quality services to the patients by making “us” skilled and full of knowledge. We should strive for our roles whole heartedly, dedicatedly and most importantly very professionally.


More pharmacists must be appointed in hospitals and other clinical settings for providing individualized patient care services and pharmaceutical care to each and every patient properly. The ideal number of clinical pharmacists in hospitals should not be less than 1 pharmacist per 25 beds/patients to provide quality services to the patients.

Pharmacists must be provided with Internet and drug reference books facilities to work more efficiently in the respected departments where they have the duty. Continuous training programs and workshops of pharmacists working in various setups/departments/health care facilities should be arranged like CME (Continuous Medical Education) on monthly basis. It will ensure the pharmacists to refresh and upgrade their knowledge and skills.

Writer is MPhil in Pharmacy and writers on health and social issues.

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