In a new opinion piece by Howard Catton, CEO of the International Council of Nurses, he highlights the importance of investing in nurses and the broader health workforce to protect communities against the dangers of substandard and falsified medicines, particularly during the COVID19 pandemic as rumors and misinformation run rife.
Healthcare professionals, such as nurses, are on the front line of treating patients with COVID-19 and are vital in the fight against substandard and falsified medicines and misinformation. They administer, monitor and, in some countries, prescribe treatment and are therefore well-positioned to detect substandard and falsified medical products. Without involving these key stakeholder groups in the decision making and sharing best practises, we cannot be successful.
Howard writes “The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, future pandemics and fake medicines highlights the urgent need to strengthen health systems, educate more nurses and better support the ones we have. If we are to be prepared for the next health crisis – and, undoubtedly, there will be one –the health workforce requires urgent investment”
The fight against substandard and falsified medicines must happen in tandem with efforts to combat the ongoing pandemic. One cannot be achieved without the other, and only in funding and prioritizing our health workforce can we begin to see tangible long-lasting results.