Deyanira Chiñas
Commercial Director
Expert Contributor

The Impact of Pharmaceutical Services on the Health System

By Deyanira Chiñas | Thu, 09/30/2021 - 15:08

The role of the pharmaceutical professional in Mexico has been confused, and in the best of cases badly misinterpreted, since the generalized idea has been that the “pharmacist” is the person you find behind the counter at a pharmacy. Nothing could be further from the truth; the staff that today takes care of customers in a pharmacy receive very basic training in the operation of the pharmacy. They can basically identify where the medications are located; at best they can identify the general function of the different drugs and the presentations they are available in.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the role of pharmaceutical professionals on all fronts of the health industry, forcing a revaluation of the position, now identified as a professional activity of great importance and a high added value. In Mexico, just in January 2020, the pharmacist professional was recognized as a fundamental part of the health team by the General Health Law that governs our country.

Today pharmacists are participating:

  • in the development of the vaccines and drugs that can put an end to this pandemic, including their design, production, and quality control, that must confirm that they are safe, pure, and effective;
  • in the development of therapies with alternative medications that allow people already infected to come out ahead;
  • in the design and correct application of medical devices that are necessary for the vigilance and therapy of the patient;
  • in the execution of pre-clinical and clinical studies that will ensure if medications and vaccines will be effective;
  • in the good use, dispensation and management of medications in hospitals and communities, hand in hand with treating physicians;
  • in the pharmacovigilance and technovigilance of all elements used in the therapies, which allow us to clearly identify undesirable and adverse effects and avoid them;
  • in the correct management of medications in distribution chains and storage, to ensure they arrive in the best possible condition for the patients use.

To work correctly in all endeavors, not only for the treatment of COVID-19 but for all diseases, including cancer and chronic degenerative diseases, pharmacists must be prepared; they must train, study, update their skills and innovate so that they can contribute the benefits that our society requires in the scope of chemical-pharmaceutical science and as members among the health professionals who integrate the country’s health team.

A group of expert colleagues who form part of the National College of Pharmaceutical Biological Chemists of Mexico A.C. (CNQFBM A.C.) have recently written a work called The Book of Pharmaceutical Services. In this document they have compiled information that is considered basic and fundamental for the correct and complete training of the professional pharmacist for the tasks they will need carry out in the different fields of health promotion.

The current definition of the pharmaceutical services established by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is: the set of activities directed to the promotion, protection, and recuperation of health both for the individual as well as for society, using medications as an essential supply, searching to guarantee the access as well as the rational use of them. This set of actions includes the research, development and production of medications and health supplies, for their selection, as well as programming, acquisition, distribution, dispensation, and quality guarantee of products and services, and follow-up and evaluation of their use.

Each continent, country and region will establish the reach of pharmaceutical services in accordance with their current needs and surely this will be updated according to breakthroughs, modifications and extraordinary needs that arise  in each case; however, in Mexico, the following chapters of the proposed book have been considered

Chapter 1. Pharmaceutical services

Chapter 2. Normativity and regulatory framework for pharmacies Chapter 3. Profile of the pharmaceutical professional

Chapter 4 Current situation of the pharmaceutical services in Mexico

Chapter 5 Pharmaceutical services safe and effective: ergonomic and design contributions

Chapter 6 Pharmaceutical attention

Chapter 7 Administrative process of the pharmacy: the role of pharmacists in hospital administration.

Chapter 8 Pharmacotherapeutic follow-up

Chapter 9 Impact and importance of the dispensation as strategy and fundamental axis for the rational use of medications in the sanitary health system

Chapter 10 Conciliation of medications

Chapter 11 Sanitary education: concepts and boarding techniques Chapter 12 Pharmacovigilance

Chapter 13 Design and construction of indicators

Chapter 14 Relationship between pharmacological research and clinical in the generation of new evidence

Chapter 15 Medications information search

This work is destined to modify substantially the criteria with which the role of the pharmaceutical professional has been identified historically; and, of course, ,the impact of the pharmacist’s knowledge will be re-valued because today, they can collaborate directly alongside treating physicians in therapies and treatments, participating and monitoring the best pharmacotherapeutic proposal for each patient, as well as participating directly in the creation and follow-up of an integral plan for  health promotion.

Photo by:   Deyanira Chiñas