Over 75% Pakistani Pharmacies Staffed by Unfit Pharmacists


by Hamna Bano

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On Saturday, an alarming statement was given at a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN) and local pharmaceutical firm PharmEvo.

Dr. Syed Zafar Zaidi, CEO, of Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN), and Dean-Indus University of Health Sciences (IUHS) said that  “Over 75 percent of pharmacies in Pakistan are functioning without trained qualified pharmacists to dispense medical prescriptions, only about 15 percent of qualified pharmacists are engaged in community pharmacy.”

It was also mentioned that Pakistan's pharmacy workforce lags decades behind industrialized countries. Part of the reason for this is that doctors are reluctant to use chemists directly in patient care, and patients are ignorant that they can contact chemists in addition to a number of other reasons.


In accordance with the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, PharmEvo will contribute both financial and technical resources to the 'Ibne Sina College of Pharmacy’ being built at the hospital's new Korangi, Karachi, location.

Dr. Zaidi also gave a brief to the audience on the challenges of pharmacy education in Pakistan. According to him, other problems experienced by Pakistan's chemist community were a lack of work possibilities in pharmaceutical care services and a lack of industry experience. 

President Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN), Dr. Abdul Bari Khan said that “IHHN takes pride in partnering with PharmEvo and we look forward to working with them for our united vision of high-quality education to address the human capital challenges in Pakistan.”

He added, “We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with its most formidable partner, PharmEvo, for the development of world-class pharmacists. We pray that our partnership with PharmEvo continues to reinforce our noble mission.”

All in all, it is impossible to stress the critical need for qualified and talented chemists in Pakistan's fragile healthcare system. Healthcare professionals that can have a real impact on the wellbeing of our population are desperately needed in our society and fruitful steps must be taken in order to achieve that.