Bangladesh Perspective Commentary: To have ‘Good Pharmacy Practice’ we have to stop ‘Neither Offering Pharmacy Practice nor Running Apothecary Modeled Pharmacy Business’ situations.

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I wonder with the number and business size of the ‘drug-shops’ at my neighborhood area to my residence at middle to upper middle-class people’s living locality in the Dhaka city of Bangladesh. In about 1000 square meters area that surrounds my residence, seven ‘drug-shops’ are doing booming medicine business. For the purpose of understandings on the business prospect, I have drawn here a speculated calculation. Average area of each of those shops is nearly 150 sq. ft. I do not know exactly the rental rate of those shops spaces. I guess it might be in the range of monthly TK. 300 – 450 per sq. ft. In addition to that the each of the individual shop owners has to pay additional monthly service charges of about TK. 7000. Each of the shops have in an average three salesman; to whom monthly wages of approximately TK. 22, 000 is to be paid by an owner. Each of the owners had to pay a high amount of possession or deposition money in a rate of around TK. 10 – 15, 000/- per sq. ft area of the shop space. So, around an average monthly expense of TK. 90, 000 is needed for running a drug-shop business near to my residence area. Thus, on an average, each of the drug-shops has to make a minimum monthly sales volume of TK. 20 lakh for its survival. I speculate that two or three of the shop-owners are doing a monthly sales volume of 1.25 to 1.50 folds or even more to the stated necessary sales amount. It is true that my residence is situated nearby to the commercial centers, bazaar and upmarket area of the Dhaka city where there exists prospective environment for pharmacy and other sorts of business. Here, medicine business is booming really in sales aspects.

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I have deliberately stated in the above paragraph of this article; the word ‘drug-shops’, to indicate that as ‘pharmacy’. In Bangladesh, medicine shops are generally and lawfully called as ‘pharmacy’. There rarely exist provisions for the deliveries of professional pharmacy care practices or services from most of those medicine business outlets; which I have, with greater inner sense of respect, emulated in the above for the purpose of my expressions, with the word, ‘Drug-shops’. In critical sense, the drawbacks in our pharmacy care and services are of so much serious and with gravity of health hazards & threats that it may be correct to name our pharmacy business shops as the ‘grocery shop of drugs’!

Pharmacy practice is oriented to health services for appropriate medication and good patient care; that are rarely done to our patients or drug consumers. Actually, our pharmacies are neither practicing pharmacy as to the models and standards of the prehistoric nor of the apothecary or of the modern days! Our pharmacy shop-owners are buying and selling drugs respectively; for and to the people on or without prescriptions. Thereby, we the graduate pharmacists are always with deep pains may name those drug stores as the ‘grocery shop of drugs’. Majority of our pharmacy business owners do not care or fully understand their social responsibilities and values of the Pharmacy profession!

Pharmacy is the healthcare profession that interlinks the sciences of healthcare with the pharmaceutical Chemistry. Pharmacists are recognized as drug-experts; and are considered responsible for ensuring the safe and cost-effective use of the drugs. The scope of pharmacy practice includes the traditional roles of admixing and dispensing medicines, and it also the consistently making provisions for many other necessity and evidence based modern services related to health disorders, medication management and other patient cares; clinical services, reviewing medication therapy for the patients’ safety and pharmaceutical efficacy, and making provisions for unbiased drug information to health professionals. And pharmacists are dependable to provide many other practice oriented roles to optimize medication uses for the positive health outcomes to the patients and the people.

Our pharmacists have academic and researching capacities to deliver Good Pharmacy Practice oriented pharmaceutical care services to our people. Our government, the medical doctors and the other stakeholders have to appreciate and encourage the direct involvement of our graduate pharmacists to upgrade and ensure the standard of our pharmacy practices to the international mark; so that our disease and early death rates are helped to reduce; also the drug misuse centered national losses are kept to minimum degree and maintained in control levels.

About Author

Prof. Sheikh Feroz Uddin Ahmed, Department of Pharmacy, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh.

Editor's Remark:

The author tried to illustrate a current scenario of medicine business here in Dhaka city of Bangladesh. He showed that in spite of high profit the shop owners are rarely sensible about the customers/patients rights! He also drew a picture of importance of good pharmacy practice showing the roles of graduate pharmacists to improve patient care. At last he argued to related stakeholders to take necessary steps to involve graduate pharmacists in community pharmacies thereby assuring health rights of the mass people. I welcome to all readers to comment and contribute!

Disclaimer

The commentary was published without any major change. The views and opinions expressed in this write up are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pharma Mirror.

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