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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 39-44

The pharmacy profession in a developing country: Challenges and suggested governance solutions in Lebanon


1 Drug Information Center, Order of Pharmacists in Lebanon; INSPECT-LB: Institut National de Santé Publique, Epidémiologie Clinique et Toxicologie, Beirut, Lebanon
2 INSPECT-LB: Institut National de Santé Publique, Epidémiologie Clinique et Toxicologie, Beirut; Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Jounieh, Lebanon
3 Laboratory of Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacy and Quality Control of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pôle Technologie-Santé; Faculty of Pharmacy, Saint-Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon
4 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, American University Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
5 Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Jounieh, Lebanon
6 INSPECT-LB: Institut National de Santé Publique, Epidémiologie Clinique et Toxicologie; Faculty of Pharmacy; Faculty of Medicine, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Souheil Hallit
INSPECT-LB: Institut National de Santé Publique, Epidémiologie Clinique et Toxicologie, Beirut; Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Jounieh, Lebanon
Lebanon
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_19_5

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Throughout the years, changes occurred in pharmacists' roles on international levels. These changes are not being followed in Lebanon where community pharmacy is still practiced in a traditional way. Laws need to be updated to align with international standards to drive a change at the practice level. The Lebanese Order of Pharmacists' (OPL) mission is to raise the level of the profession. It also enforces the laws, defends the rights of pharmacists, and improves the level of practice and development of scientific competence. It is also aiming at providing the conditions for enhancing the patient's access to the appropriate medications and its safe use. Meanwhile, the OPL is facing several challenges, most importantly, the deteriorating financial situation of community pharmacists and the decrease in the retirement fund input. To find proper answers to all these issues, the OPL started working, since 2016, on solutions from a proper governance perspective, jointly with all the stakeholders such as the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the universities, and other professional associations. The suggested solutions include the application of the principles of good governance, provision of paid services, developing pharmacists' core and advanced competencies, accreditation standards generation, and new laws and decrees suggestions concerning clinical pharmacy application in hospitals and community settings, continuing education consolidation and professional development, and research- and assessment-based decisions. The suggested solutions are expected to overcome challenges and barriers while leveraging the profession and advancing it to reach international standards.


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