The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4281.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 1

Abstract #67405

Pharmacists: Need for increased participation in international health

Niranjan Konduri, MS, Pharmacy Administration, University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, 2502 Marble NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, 505-265-1112,

Community pharmacists are in a unique position to informally communicate drug knowledge with the public. They are the most accessible public health professionals and possess capabilities in areas such as health promotion, smoking cessation and in supplying condoms. However, there appears to be a critical need for more pharmacists in developing countries. There are between 15 and 94 pharmacists per 100,000 people in developed countries, one to seven pharmacists in Asia and three pharmacists in Africa per 100,000 people (138th British Pharmaceutical Conference, Glasgow, 2001). The WHO’s essential drugs policy indicates that its main priorities are to ensure the quality and safety of medicines and to support the rational use of medicines. However, research on drug utilization in countries such as India, Kenya, Ghana and the Philippines indicates that drugs are being irrationally prescribed and consumers know very little about the drugs they use. The dispenser often viewed himself as a ‘medicine seller’ than a professional and rarely offered unsolicited advice to the consumers. The pharmacy profession has limited formal participation in international public health unlike nurses and physicians. Hence there is critical need for a coalition of pharmacists within the APHA, International Health section. The practice of pharmaceutical care which has been moderately successful in developed nations must be transferred to developing nations. Pharmacists in these nations need to be empowered by their professional identity and must play a vigorous role through their work in promoting rational and safe drug use for the public.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

International Health Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA