Community Pharmacists Action Centre (COPA), an initiative of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) in conjunction with Howard University Global Initiative (HUGIN), a consortium partner with FHI360, also known as Family Health International, on Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) on Tuesday celebrated community pharmacies that met the criteria for Quality Care Standards in Community Pharmacy as developed by the International Pharmaceutical Association (FIP).
The event which held at The Rembrandt Hotel, Ikeja was attended by many dignitaries in the pharmaceutical sector such as Pharm. N.A.E Mohammed, Registrar of Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), who was the Chairman of the Occasion; Prof. Kunle Olabayo, Director General National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD); Dr. Albert Kelong Alkali, National Chairman Association of Community Pharmacists; Dr. Babatunde Odusolu, State Programme Manager FHI360, Lagos, and a host of others.
The award was divided into 3 categories: COPA 1, COPA 2 and COPA 3, with COPA 3 being the highest grade. 17 pharmacies were accredited in 4 states of the country: Lagos, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states. Out of the 17 pharmacies, 15 emerged with the COPA 1 status while 2 emerged with the COPA 3 status. There was no pharmacy with the COPA 2 status.
Dr. Dorothy Oqua, the Country Director for HUGIN stated that she was pleased with the partnership with community pharmacists as it has been a very fruitful experience. She stated that HUGIN had been working with some community pharmacists in order to build their capacity under the Sustainable Financing Initiative, to get into the business of providing medicines to HIV infected clients in Nigeria, and that they have seized the opportunity to improve quality care standards in the community pharmacy practice which was the reason for the awards being given at the event.
Dr. Oquo said that HUGIN had been working with community pharmacists since 2003, assessing their contributions to ameliorating the HIV/AIDS blight. Based on this existing relationship, HUGIN decided to take it further by bringing in community pharmacists to support the public health sector in providing treatment and care support services to HIV patients. She encouraged all pharmacists who get to see patients to get involved with the scheme stating that every pharmacists needs to get his hands on deck in battling the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Albert Kelong Alkali explained that the COPA award was rated based on the totality of pharmaceutical practice including care and service delivery to customers, human resources and facilities. He stated that the pharmacies that were awarded especially COPA Three Award at the event have what it takes to compete with any other pharmacy anywhere in the world because they were rated based on pharmaceutical best practices that are obtainable worldwide. He went further to add that he felt really proud of the pharmacies that emerged as recipients of the award as it shows that the Pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria is committed to building quality assurance in the practice.
The pharmacies that attained the COPA 1 status and received the awards accordingly in Lagos are: Epilson Pharmacy, Drug Consult Pharmacy, Mebik Pharmacy, Silverline Pharmacy, and Rozec Pharmacy. In Rivers we had: Barata Pharmacy, GottGabe Pharmacy, Healthspa Pharmacy, and Wilson Pharmacy. In Cross River – Eagle Eye Pharmacy, Joe Manuel Pharmacy and Remcare Pharmacy received the COPA 1 award. Finally, Akwa Ibom was not left out as Prolimsa Pharmacy, One Stop Pharmacy, and Golden Drugs Pharmacy also got recognised in the COPA 1 category.
Only 2 pharmacies attained the COPA 3 status and they were both from Lagos State. The pharmacies were Alpha Pharmacy and Victory Drugs.