Pakistan’s health sector is deteriorating day by day as even the World Health Organization last month in its report said that Islamabad is currently not capable to deal with internal as well as external health threats. And one internal threat that is always looming over Pakistani people is the medication error while getting the treatment.
According to Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists (PHSP) President, Abdul Latif Sheikh, more than 500,000 people, including children, die annually from medication errors. These medication errors include medication overdose, wrong prescription of medicine, and self-medication. Latif Sheikh said that there is no official data that can determine deaths due to medication errors but rough estimates amount to 400,000-500,000 deaths per year.
These deaths can be saved if international practices of drug safety are observed in Pakistan as well. In order to cater to this alarming situation, PHSP will be holding a conference on Saturday titled “Quality, Safety, and Outcome; a paradigm shift in pharmacy”. PHSP has also invited two international guest speakers, Professor Henri R. Manasse Jr and Jacqueline Surugue from France to speak at the conference.
The guest speakers will speak about the international practices that are observed in the field of pharmacy and what measures Pakistan should take in order to adopt those practices.
Latif Sheikh also said that pharmacists who are working in hospitals should be consulted by the doctors at the time of medicine prescription, their usage, and in determining what dose does the patient need, and other important things. As pharmacists are better equipped about drugs and their dosage, their help should be taken by the doctors to avoid any medication error.
Dr. Saif-ur-Rehman, Chief Central Drug Testing Laboratory, said that they are also working to control sale and use of counterfeit drugs so that people do not end up using them. Pakistan is not the only country that is facing the problem of counterfeit drugs. Even in the United States, more than 80,000 people die annually due to medication errors.