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Pharmacists seek adoption of drug-revolving funds for hospital needs


PSN President, Ahmed I. Yakasai

PSN President, Ahmed I. Yakasai

PSN faults privatisation of pharmacies

As part of efforts to prevent shortage of essential medicines in hospitals, pharmacists under the umbrella of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have canvassed for the adoption of drug revolving fund schemes to meet hospital needs.

The PSN in a statement signed by its President, Ahmed Yakasai said it is not against public private partnerships (PPP) but faulted the private sector participation in public hospital pharmacy practice in some State government owned pharmacy facilities.

To address the situation, Yakasai recommended among other things: “The state governments are also encouraged to allow pharmacists to run an ideal Drug Revolving Fund (DRF) through a PPP model that embraces zero financing to hospital or state government and has capacity to sustain itself and make profit if desired.

“This modified Drug Revolving Fund, which requires no seed money from government works through special arrangement with local manufacturers, manufacturer’s representatives and importers who will supply their drugs to the hospitals on credit. This is an attractive proposal to these private sector players because of the huge market potentials a public hospital pharmacy guarantees because of the patient volume and high traffic. A six-week credit facility must however, be put in place by government to guarantee safety nets in such transactions.”

The PSN also recommended: “The operations of the beneficiaries of PPP in public pharmacies should be limited to the supply of genuine drugs to the pharmacy store. The State Government should employ the use of properly designated pharmacists in its workforce to dispense these drugs as well as other professional duties. This reduces the inclination to some of the risk factors earlier highlighted.

“In a bid to facilitate cost recovery, the beneficiaries of PPP in pharmacy facilities may engage their accounting staff for collection of monies related to drug sales in affected pharmacy facilities. This reduces a tendency for misappropriation of funds meant for drugs, which is the root of the stock out problems in most pharmacy facilities.”

Yakasai, however, said the PSN as a professional body believes and supports the ideals of a PPP once it is executed in tandem with due process as this ensures that fairness, equity and justice are dispensed to all concerned.

Yakasai said privatization of pharmacies in state-owned hospitals amounts to an act of sacrificing a guaranteed public sector market to private profiteers when government hands over its pharmacy facilities without some fundamental condition precedent.

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