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THE PHARMA REVIEW (SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2011)

Sustainability: A Challenge Ahead for Pharmacy Professionals

Daisy.P.A#, Anantha.N.N # Shima R.K#

Introduction: Sustainability is anonymous with endurance. The Pharmacy profession assumes a complimentary role in health care provision. The challenges before pharmacists for sustainability are, providing a balanced, consistent supply of quality medicines and good pharmacy practice. Sustainability is dependant on the capacity of the environment to withstand the challenges faced by threats due to contaminations by pharmaceuticals. Health care delivery demands a healthy environment too. Pharmacy and pharmaceuticals, both the services and the products add value to a healthy living. Hence the training given to the pharmacists is to be in line with the present challenges faced across the globe. Both the trainers and the learners are to be aware of the global environmental sustainability issues, which is a challenge to the pharmacy profession at present and in future. It is high time that we should develop and promote sustainability training for pharmacists, students and other health related professionals. We have to develop training modules that will increase sustainability knowledge and practices in institutional and community pharmacies. It is good that several universities have taken initiatives (University Sciences and Bradford University, U.S) to develop such training modules. Pharmacies deal every day with many issues that has an impact on sustainability, including proper disposal of pharmaceuticals. With millions of pharmacists working across the globe, this partnership will provide wonderful opportunity to extend sustainable practices to other sectors of the health care. There is a need to train professionals in all the frontiers to achieve sustainability1. Careful planning of logistics of the human resources is the corner stone of sustainability.
The Impact of Pharmaceuticals on Mother Earth and on its Resources
Water is one of the important prerequisite for life on earth without which no life is possible .The cycling of water, from ocean to atmosphere, via rain to brooks and rivers and back to the ocean, facilitates access to potable water. How can we protect this resource? Will our next generation find natural springs that they dare to drink from? Or will it be necessary to consider all water from unknown sources as undrinkable? It is primarily the release of pharmaceuticals and chemicals into our lakes, rivers and oceans that creates the greatest challenges for the future. If we continue outpouring of pharmaceuticals and chemicals into our water resources the animal species will disappear and the ecological balance will be disturbed2. Also the crops irrigated with surface water will be damaged. For example, the diclofenac contaminated meat from carcass was responsible for mass death of vultures. The facts of endosulfan used as insecticides are known to the world. Recently the Indian government has banned few formulations of certain drugs like nemusulide, phenyl propanolamine, cisapride etc. What will be the destination of these? According to the confederation of Indian pharmaceutical industries, there is a huge stock of all these in the market as well as in the godowns2. While we have to oblige with the laws regarding the banned drugs usage, it is also required to adopt proper method for safe disposal of these.

 

 

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