B7 - Evolving from medicines seller to medicines expert (in Middle East and LMIC countries)

Conference Hall A - Section D

Organised by FIP’s Community Pharmacy Section, in collaboration with IPSF and the YPG


Warren Meek (C7 Consulting Limited, Canada) and Manjiri Gharat (Indian Pharmaceutical Association, India)


For hundreds of years, the Arabic world has had a profound influence on the science and art of pharmacy. Pharmacy’s independence from medicine can be traced to the opening of the private apothecary in Baghdad circa AD 750. While charlatans, spice and perfume sellers, and drug dealers were common in the 8th century, pharmacy was already beginning to emerge as a respected profession.

What is the state of that profession now in the greater Middle East region and LMIC-countries?

Pharmacies are increasingly being recognised as a formal gate of entry to the healthcare system. Collaborative interaction between patients and pharmacists, with or without the provision of a therapeutic substance, confers undoubted benefits to the total healthcare system. More governments need to consider and promote the relevance and importance of self-care and acknowledge the role of pharmacists in delivering improved patient health outcomes through supporting patients in self-care activities.

Pharmacy is a dynamic profession. However, in developing countries, the profession has remained stagnant, with a focus on dispensing and selling medicines, and as such risks the very essence of its existence. To change the image of the profession in developing countries there is a need to identify service opportunities that would perpetuate the continued relevance of the profession to health systems and communities. Even though new opportunities in the areas of public health, pharmaceutical supply chain management, pharmacovigilance, regulation, management, rational drug use and others are emerging in different forms and designs, pharmacists struggle to develop both their pharmacies as well as their healthcare systems. Changes in mindsets, perceptions, curricula and teaching methodologies are some of the requirements required to catalyse the process of modernising the profession of pharmacy in developing countries. But system changes are also necessary.

By establishing pharmacy as the gateway to care, pharmacy can and will contribute to the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, all over the world.

This session intends to capture the current pharmacist and pharmacy culture and practice within the Middle East, identify opportunities for professional improvement, and share potential professional advancements.


14:30 – 14:35 Introduction by the chairs

  1. 14:35 – 15:00 Results from a 22-country survey of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of WHO-EMRO: A survey of community pharmacists on current culture and preferred future for pharmacy
    Pierre Moreau (Kuwait University, Kuwait)
  2. 15:00 – 15:25 The role of pharmacy in future health systems — Optimising the role of the pharmacist and the value of pharmacy as a gateway to care
    Warren Meek (C7 Consulting Limited, Canada)
  3. 15:25 – 15:50 Enablers for system change
    Dixon Thomas (Gulf Medical University, UAE)

15:50 – 16:10 Coffee/tea break

16:10 – 16:50

  1. Global examples of enhanced standards of care!
    • Diabetes screening in Australia – Ines Krass (The University of Sydney, Australia)
    • NetCare in Switzerland – Martine Ruggli (pharmaSuisse, Switzerland)
    • Success stories of minor ailment prescribing in Canada – Derek Jorgensen (University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
    • Point-of-care testing in the USA – Lawrence Brown (Chapman University, USA)
  1. 16:50 – 17:20 Audience participation – Capturing elements to be considered for transitioning to a higher standard

Facilitated by the chairs

17:20 – 17:25 Conclusion by the chairs

17:25 – 17:30 Room refresh

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify why practice change is needed for community pharmacy
  2. Describe the value proposition of pharmacy as the gateway to care
  3. Describe how a system change can achieved
  4. Outline a plan for repositioning pharmacy as the gateway to care.

Type of session: Knowledge-based