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Pharmacist appointment across public healthcare facilities can thwart severe Covid-19 third wave: Experts

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, October 16, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Experts see the need for public healthcare facilities to appoint pharmacists to thwart severe Covid-19 third wave. This is because pharmacist's presence during the second and first waves was proven to be valuable and indispensable.

Clinical pharmacists posted in corporate hospitals provide timely patient services in patient education, counselling, monitoring adverse drug reaction of newly introduced vaccines and medicines, proper use of antibiotics, etc. The corporate hospitals during the Covid pandemic found the services of clinical pharmacists helpful, said the experts.

At a recent deliberation organised by Cipla at the Digital Pharmacy Conclave focused on the ‘Evolving role of pharmacist- Pre and Post Covid-Pandemic’. The panel members: Dr Natarajan G, and Dr. Ziauddin from Apollo Hospital, and Dr. Subhrojyoti Bhowmick from Peerless Hospital, Kolkata emphasized that the importance of clinical pharmacists and lauded their efforts across pharmacies, wards and ICUs during the Covid pandemic.

On this point, Dr Suresh R Saravdekar, vice- chairman-hospital division, IPA, stated that the Pharmacy Council of India had to play an important role in convincing the government and creating the posts of clinical pharmacists in all public healthcare facilities. This is because currently, the NABH accredited medical centres which are largely corporate hospitals that attracted the big chunk of international patients for treatment and surgical interventions in India appointed pharmacists.

This is because NABH is based on international standards for hospitals. Thus, it is only NABH accreditation which is a voluntary requirement that has created need of clinical pharmacists for these hospitals as their appointment is mandatory. This is only possible if all hospitals come under Legislative Regulation & not Voluntary Regulation, he added.

In 2010 government enacted the Clinical Establishment Act to put in place a SOPs (standard operating procedures) and create a formal organisation structure with number of posts of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other staff based on number of patients and the clinical services provided. However, health is a state government subject and there is a need to frame the rules and regulation regarding various standards of the hospitals under this Act, said Dr Saravdekar.

However, we see only a handful of states that have taken action in this regard. The old standards where there are no posts of clinical pharmacist continue except in case of few corporate hospitals who opt for NABH accreditation, he pointed out.

The other issues which were discussed by the panel members were shortage of essential medicines, paucity of manpower, and increased importance of hygiene, sanitation, infection control and antibiotic resistance. Medication errors and self-medication issues can be prevented with the presence of clinical pharmacists. Further, clinical pharmacists are also known to offer emotional status of the Covid-19 affected individuals and their family members.


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Ravindra Pandhe Oct 16, 2021 9:57 AM
We are on a same page, In Covid-19 pandemic a clinical pharmacist played a important role. Not only corporate hospital but also in Government sector hospital should also appointed clinical Pharmacist. It will very helpful for patients as well as Medical teams also.
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