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Revolutionizing Pharmacology: over 6,000 pharmacists nationwide upskilled by PharmAcademy

PharmAcademy

In just one year since joining forces with community-building platform SwipeRx and the Philippine Pharmacists Association Inc. (PPhA), Sanofi Consumer Healthcare has upskilled a total 6,457 pharmacists nationwide through its revolutionary learning platform, PharmAcademy.

“As we now know, for every Filipino that visits their local doctor, 10 visit their local pharmacist for medical advice, so the more professionals we are able to teach through PharmAcademy, the more patient lives we are able to touch on-ground,” said Monsinee Sathirakawinskul, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare Country Head for Philippines CHC ASEA Zone.

 PharmAcademy

Bridging the communal gaps in health literacy with the help of pharmacists

Officially launched in the Philippines during PPhA’s 2023 National Conference, PharmAcademy is a platform to equip pharmacists with the skills to play a more proactive role in disease management and prevention, especially in counseling about illnesses that can be prevented by lifestyle adjustments and proper self-care.

For this year’s conference, PPhA placed a focus on the state of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). A 2023 study published in the Annals of Hepatology revealed that 4% of deaths annually in the world are caused by liver disease, and has become a pressing matter in the Philippines as well.

Dr. Denis Cua Ngo, President of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology provided key insights on the severity of the disease in the country, saying, “We are facing epidemic of obesity which will almost inevitably result in an increase in rates of NAFLD and NASH, and eventually a burden of end-stage liver disease.”

In the Philippines alone, around 27 cases in 1,000 deaths in the Philippines can be attributed to liver disease. While alarming in number, lifestyle modification and proactive liver care remain to be the cornerstone of prevention. Pharmacists are instrumental in promoting proper healthcare practices within the communities they serve, making learning tools like PharmAcademy even more relevant, especially in tackling cases of NAFLD and NASH.

 PharmAcademy

Changing the pharmacy practice one accreditation at a time

Only on its second year in the Philippines, PharmAcademy has aided in the progress of proactive healthcare at the forefront of pharmacist education. To date, 2,314 pharmacists have received CPD-accreditation for completing Immunology 101, while 2,219 have been accredited for mastering the ABCs of multivitamins.

Gut health was also a prominent part of the pharmacists’ education, with the alliance having issued a combined total of 2,785 accreditations on the following modules: Gut Immunity and the role of Probiotics in Diarrhea Management, and Case-Based Approach to Digestive Health.

Regulated by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), these modules work to improve over-the-counter patient care overall, allowing upskilled pharmacists enough knowledge to confidently fulfill their role as frontline healthcare providers.

The interest to explore post-pandemic servicing strategies were also evident, as a total of 4,961 completed soft skill modules covering topics like “Pandemic communication barriers with customers” and “Understanding customers’ behaviors post-COVID.”

These soft skills are essential in advising for individual patient care and help pharmacists better understand the importance of effective communication during crises, where patient uncertainty and anxiety is at its peak.

As PharmAcademy persists to upskill pharmacists across the nation, its second year will now include interactive sessions with industry thought leaders and offline knowledge-transfer sessions, on top of the readily available modules that pharmacists can access on the SwipeRx app.

“By enabling pharmacists and pharmacist assistants to step into their role as the primary healthcare providers of their community, we empower each patient who seek their guidance to have more control of their healthcare journey, ultimately allowing them to put their health into their own hands,” Dr. Yvonne Ferrer, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare ASEA Medical Lead, concluded.

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