Use medicines wisely

2018-10-03 06:01
Mariet Eksteen, Professional Development and Support officer at the National office of the PSSA, at the World Pharmacists Day photobooth.PHOTO: supplied

Mariet Eksteen, Professional Development and Support officer at the National office of the PSSA, at the World Pharmacists Day photobooth.PHOTO: supplied

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DURING September, pharmacists across South Africa have been celebrating Pharmacy Month, which is a health awareness campaign in which the PSSA partners with the National Department of Health and the South African Pharmacy Council.

The theme for 2018 is “Use Medicines Wisely”.

Medicines can be confusing to consumers. There are so many different types with various uses and unique safety profiles.

The 2018 campaign addresses four critical aspects of medicine use — knowledge that consumers need about their medicines, storing medicines correctly, travelling safely with medicines, and, importantly, using the pharmacist’s knowledge of medicines to ensure that you are able to use your medicines wisely, safely and effectively.

Pharmacists in different areas of the country have planned activities and interacted with consumers to help them to understand the importance of these aspects of medicines use.


September 25 was World Pharmacists Day.

It is also the day on which the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) was founded in 1912.

FIP currently consists of 140 member organisations, 172 Academic institutional members, 22 observer organisations and 3560 individual members, representing approximately 4 million pharmacists around the world in 152 countries and territories, covering over 7,4 billion people.

Since 2010, FIP members have celebrated World Pharmacists Day annually on September 25. The initiative highlights the impact and added value of the pharmacy profession and its role in improving health, and is intended to inform authorities, other healthcare professions, the media and the general public.

Its purpose is to encourage promotion and advocacy for the role of the pharmacist in improving health in every part of the world.

The 2018 theme for World Pharmacists Day was “Pharmacist — your medicines expert”.

Patients and healthcare professionals alike are reminded that the pharmacist’s expertise in all aspects of medicine use is available to assist them to make sure that even the most complex medicine is used safely, appropriately and has the desired outcome.

The theme of World Pharmacists Day emphasised that pharmacists are a trusted source of knowledge and advice, not only for patients but other healthcare professionals. For every patient who walks into a pharmacy, pharmacists ensure that the right medicine is provided at the right dose and in the most suitable formulation.

“We work with other healthcare professionals to ensure that every individual receives optimal treatment. Moreover, as one of the most accessible healthcare professionals globally, we use our learning to protect health and prevent illness,” says Dr Carmen Peña, immediate past president of FIP.


If you have any questions about your medicines, ask the expert. Talk to your pharmacist. When you go into a pharmacy, you have the right to ask to speak to the pharmacist about any concerns or queries that you have about your medicine. You have the right to make the correct decisions about medicine use, and your pharmacist has the responsibility to help you with this.
— Supplied


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