ACPN Lagos

COVID-19 Pandemic: The need to evolve pharmacy practice

The pandemic has been with us for about 2 years and it exposes the vulnerability in every sector. The world has experienced an unprecedented change especially in the health sector and covid-19 was its strongest catalyst in the last 100years. The need to evolve is mandated when the environment changes and extinction is inevitable if evolution is ignored.

The major reasons for evolution are the inexorable forces driving change through human behavior such as the need for humans to stay connected, acceleration of technological innovation, a changing complex environment and the need for collaboration for creativity.

One of the major changes observed was in customer behavior. A data from Lagos state research on customer behavior before and during the pandemic showed a reduction in footfall to the hospitals and an increase in influx to the pharmacies. Online consultation and transactions also increased. Trade channels reduced from physical to online and other means. The observed changes present with both threats and opportunities.

Evolution in different sector of the Pharmacy profession


The relevancy of the curriculum to the current practices in the different sector is essential. There should be collaboration with the stakeholders in all the sectors as to what is obtainable in the real practice. Digitalized learning should be encouraged. Furthermore, there should be an increase in the pace of research and development.


Consolidation and collaboration of pharmaceutical companies will make them gain strength and formidability. They can achieve better this way. Innovation and digitalization should also be their aim.


Disease area specialization which has started in a few parts of the country and robust patient education services are some of the ways hospital practice can evolve.


Regulators are enablers; this capacity should be used maximally. There should be a revamp of regulatory polices to allow for progress.


Community Practice

The pandemic brought to fore the importance of community Pharmacists as a pillar of the Healthcare Profession. No one is in doubt now that the community Pharmacists is the front-line healthcare worker. In fact, they were the last men standing during the pandemic. They have the accessibility and affordability to operate PHCs (Primary Health Centre) in their communities.

Ways they can evolve in this regard include rendering of services like point of care testing, providing family planning services, Mental health etc. These practices are not new as they are being carried out in other counties. Community pharmacists are the most accessible with no waiting time and the knowledge base to offer clinical care is there.

It is obvious what digitalization did during the pandemic and what it’s still doing. Customer behavior that changed may not revert, so, how prepared are you to adapt?

Other ways community practice can evolve is through health insurance services. So I ask? How do you imagine your practice in a year from now?

The way forward

Imagine what is possible and create it. It is said that the best way to predict your future is to create it. HOW?

Through advocacy, legislation, collaboration, professionalism and innovation.

A quote by Charles Darwin says “it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”

Ask yourself, what are you doing that you need to stop? What are you not doing that you need to start doing? What are you doing that you need to do more of?

These are questions when answered, will definitely set you up for brighter today and the future you want.

Thanks for your attention.

By Kunle OYELAN, FPSN, Group Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Nig.Plc

Put together by

Pharm. Olajumoke Lawal

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