Sustainability in Pharmacy Profession and Practice

:Dr. Labib abd-alrsoul abd-alrazaq
college of pharmacy

It became more popular now to hear the word “Sustainability” in the current pharmacy practice, but at the end it means we have to develop activities that set sustainability as endless goal. The daily activities in pharmacy practice which consists of patient education, dispensing, pharmacotherapy follow up, pharmacovigilance, and other administrative activities needs Continuous efforts to make it sustainable. Although, Pharmacy is moving across a more sustainable future, balancing the patients’ requirements, legal demands, economic status, and medication safety and efficacy embarrasses a difficult duty, which may take years to be implemented. What might be right to do now is to address these difficulties through acknowledge them to the community.
As part of daily duty of the pharmacist in the pharmacy is educating the patients, the focus on medication adherence can be beneficial for both patients’ desired therapeutic outcomes as well as important for pharmacy practice sustainability. Improving patient medication therapy management will reduce inappropriate multiple medication use or polypharmacy; by counselling the patients on correct medicines use, pharmacists can support in preventing unneeded medication use, and waste medicines. This will reduce waste and maximizes patient benefit by decreasing treatment failure and keep safe environment. In addition, counselling the patients about the right drug disposal for expired or unusable medications also can be another opportunity for improve patient awareness and sustainable environmental practices. Adding a list of places where there is drug that unused or expired can be returned from patient would also be another idea that pharmacists could raise awareness for this important issue and provide an easy solution for unused or expired medication disposal.
Pharmacies have growing potential to encourage the paperless ways such as electronic prescriptions. Taking this a step further will greatly reduce the amount of paper used in pharmacies and improve sustainability of pharmacy practice. The change toward paperless format can save thousands of tons of paper each year. Another important issue in concern is the use of plastic bottles that can be used for medication storage and dispensing medications. Recycling medications bottles will increase the chance of waste reduction which is important to make pharmacy practice more sustainable.
Recently, we can see that there is an exponential increase in the health campaigns such as in smoking cessation, and healthy lifestyle. Despite that, it continues to remain a health care concern, including pharmacies, there are workers in the pharmacy field who continue to smoke, as well as due to the long working hours that pharmacist have, the eating habits tend to be not healthy. This might lead health problems such as obesity and heart problems. In addition to that, the stress and physical difficulties can also impact the health of the pharmacists. Increasing efforts toward improving the health of the pharmacists will have a positive impact on social sustainability.
Finally, pharmacists can participate in educating the public and other health care providers about sustainable practices. This of course will require and continuous education and training of the pharmacist. Continuous education and training programs can help to ensure that pharmacists are armed with the knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality care while minimizing the environmental impact of their practice. These programs might include the issues of climate change, waste management, environmental health and other related issues. In the end, it might be also an important point consider is that, teaching courses of sustainability in the universities and especially for pharmacy students will support them knowledge and tools that will help to create a sustainable future and promote good health and well-being for all.

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