#Fakemeds put patients at risk of further illness, disability or even death ❗️ Read more on FightTheFakes.org
In a new opinion piece in the New Times Rwanda, Oksana Pyzik, Senior Teaching Fellow, University College London (UCL) and founder of UCL Fight the Fakes, and Flandrie Habyarimana, R.Ph President of the Rwanda Community Pharmacists Union (RCPU) and Eastern & Southern Africa Regional Representative at the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA), are highlighting the importance of pharmacists in the fight against falsified medicines.
Pharmacists are key players in combatting the spread of substandard and falsified medicines. They are well-positioned to educate patients on safe ways to purchase medicines and to report treatment failure or suspicious side effects. Yet, pharmacists’ education, both in high- and low-income countries, often do not include the issue of substandard and fake medicines in their curricula.
As highlighted by Oksana and Flandrie “pharmacists are often the first port of call for patients seeking medical advice. Here is a missed opportunity for pharmacists to educate patients about the dangers of purchasing medicines from unregulated markets, such as street bazaars, online or other unlicensed vendors.”
Ultimately, optimising pharmacists’ skillset and knowledge of falsified medicines can have a profound positive impact on patient’ safety. Governments, together with regulatory bodies, pharmacists and universities, need to work together to identify pharmacy training needs and opportunities to upskill the pharmaceutical workforce.