The experts from pharmaceutical industry, leading professors and academicians of pharmacy and government officials related to the field emphasized on different ways that how a patient can avoid harms of using drugs and medicines and how the medication safety can be ensured. All the academicians and practitioners from the field of pharmacy stressed that there is a dire need to revamp the prevailing curriculum of pharmacy in Pakistan during the first international symposium on ‘Medical Safety’ organized by the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH) here at a local hotel in Lahore on Saturday.Senator Dr Musadik Malik, who was the keynote speaker in one of the sessions, said that the curriculum of pharmacy in Pakistan needs to be revamped and the pharmacists should work with the specialists of other fields as well because this profession has become a multidisciplinary one.Pharmaceutical experts emphasize on change in Pharmacy curriculum“The role of pharmacist will evolve requiring multidisciplinary education and collaboration. Future pharmaceutical care has to be patient centric, evidence based and performance driven,” said Malik while saying that the field of pharmacy has changed now. He was of the view that we should avoid irrational prescribing and improper dosing of medicine in order to ensure the ‘Medical Safety’ of the patient. He shared an alarming figure that the current cost of irrational drug therapy is estimated at 300 billion dollar per year in the US alone.The Senator further said while addressing the pharmacists that this profession will become obsolete if it will not be the patient-centric and therefore every pharmacist should work while keeping in mind the approach of patient-centric. He was of the view that the business of laboratories is going to die soon because of the increasing trend of e-therapy these days as one can monitor his vital signs through the effective use his I-Phone 24/7. “I invited people from the field of pharmacy to get benefit from me when I was in the power during last tenure but unfortunately no one came to me,” said Malik, who was special assistant to Prime Minister in the last government of PML-N. I really wanted to do something for this field but no one used me, said Malik, who did his PhD in healthcare administration after doing his graduation in Pharmacy.Pharmacists should discourage fake drugs, say speakersDr Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, Chief Medical Officer of SKMCH said that the patient safety has much importance in any healthcare and therefore the Shaukat Khanum will continue playing its role for the patient safety through such symposiums in the future as well. Omar Akhlaq Bhutta, who is Senior Manager Pharmacy at Shaukat Khanum, said that the pharmacist is the custodian and therefore he needs to become an arm of the healthcare system instead of becoming harm.“We all should discourage the fake and counterfeit medicines and there is a need to run an awareness campaign regarding such ills,” said Bhutta, who holds a PhD in pharmaceutical Sciences. He further added that ‘Medication without Harm’ is the third WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge and it has set a five-year target to reduce the medication errors and medication related harm by 50 % worldwide. He was of the view that patient safety is ensured by pharmacists and therefore they should take responsibility of the medicine that it will not cause harm when a patient will use it. An expert in pharmacy Aslam Siddiqui from Abu Dhabi, CEO of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Dr Sheikh Akhtar Hussain, GM pharmaceutical company Ishfaq Ahmed Mehar, deputy manager pharmacy at SKMCH Sidra Andleeb and a large number of academicians and professors of pharmacy also participated in the symposium. Students of pharmacy, doctors, nurses and professional pharmacists were also present on the occasion.Published in Daily Times, March 17th 2019.