IPA urges Union health minister to prepare strategy for including qualified retail pharmacists into NPCDCS on PPP basis

IPA urges Union health minister to prepare st

On the lines of the Public-Private-Partnership (PPA) agreement initiated by Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) and Central TB Division (CTBD) in 2006 to explore the potential of pharmacists for TB control programme, the association has now mooted another proposal with the CTBD to tap the potential of the retail pharmacists working in community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies. Highlighting the scope and potential of lakhs of qualified pharmacists to support the healthcare system, the IPA has written to the Union health minister, J P Nadda, to include pharmacists working in the retail sector into the National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS). All over India, more than seven lakh retail pharmacists are working in community pharmacies and about one lakh pharmacists are working in hospital pharmacies in the private sector. “Traditionally pharmacists’ role in healthcare has been centred around dispensing of medications. But globally it has expanded over time to include more direct patient care aspects such as primary care and disease management services, consequently their role continues to evolve today. A team-based healthcare practice is gaining importance. Pharmacists are the first point of contact for the patients and can positively influence their healthcare behaviour”, said Suresh Khanna, secretary of IPA, in his letter to the health minister. He said, in 2006, IPA developed a PPA agreement with the National Tuberculosis Control authorities in the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) to include qualified pharmacists in support of the programme. The consistent efforts resulted in establishing the pharmacists’ role in referral of symptomatic, giving community awareness, serving as patient counsellors and as DOTS providers. Considering the success of the initiative, in 2012, the Central TB Division signed an MoU with IPA to expand the PPP across the country. The agreement still continues towards the objectives of the CTBD. For successful implementation of the project, the association had developed short training program for pharmacists based on a training module which was reviewed and adopted by the TB Division. As of today, more than 2,000 retail pharmacists were trained for TB DOTS, resultantly, they work as extended hands of the RNTCP to serve the TB community. Similarly, pharmacists can play a key role in the NPCDCS also, said Khanna. Regarding the strategy for involving pharmacists into the programme, the letter says that since pharmacists are spread across the nook and corner of the country, they can be assigned for giving awareness to the public, screening services for early detection of undiagnosed diabetes cases & monitoring the glycemic control of known diabetics, referral of symptomatic or of uncontrolled diabetics to physicians, providing tools for diabetic patients for medication adherence and monitoring of the treatment, counselling patients in lifestyle modifications, medication side effects, follow up check ups, counselling of pre-diabetics or other high risk patients for prevention of diabetes and monitoring and counselling of TB patients for diabetes checks. NPCDCS was launched in 2010 to prevent and control the non-communicable diseases (NCD) and the focus of the program is on health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral of cases besides strengthening the infrastructure and capacity building. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, etc are the major NCDs.

Source : www.pharmabiz.com

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