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LM College of Pharmacy organises international e-conference on healthcare and pharmacy practice

The e-conference was held on 11th and 12th February, 2022

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LM College of Pharmacy organised a two-day international e-conference on healthcare and pharmacy practice – “Coalescing HealthCare & Pharmacy Practice” sponsored by GUJCOST, DST Government of Gujarat, on 11th and 12th February, 2022.

After a welcome address by the college Principal Dr M T Chhabria, Dr Sunita Goswami, coordinator, conveyed the objective of the conference and organisational details. The Guest of Honour, Dr A H Kalro emphasised the importance of integrating pharmacists as a core component in the healthcare field. Chief Guest Professor (Dr) Dileep Mavalankar appreciated the role of the pharmacist in general public health.

A total of 236 participants from all over India joined the e-conference, including community pharmacists, industry personnel, research scholars, academicians and students from the healthcare sector. Some participants were from the Federation of Druggist and Chemist Association-Gujarat State Branch.

The session started with Dr Kamalakar Gulukota, Leader, Innovator, Computational Biologist, Illinois, US, who delivered a talk on “Using Genomics to choose between therapeutic equals.” He talked about personalised medication that marked a shift in medication from environment-specific to host-specific. He said that 98 per cent of people have an actionable variable on individual gender sequence that can help in optimising dose and minimising toxicity and presented case studies. He illustrated this by personalising therapy of six mercaptopurine in aAute lymphocytic leukemia and escitalopram in depression. Pharmacogenomic report of a patient conveys general guidance, drugs to be used with caution and drugs to be used under specific conditions.

Dr Rakeshwar S Guleria, Chief, Biomarkers and genetic Core, VISN17 Center of Excellence, Central Texas, Veterans Healthcare System, Texas, US, delivered a talk on “Role of Biomarkers in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.” He explained the fine difference in the pathogenesis and symptoms of these two disorders. He conveyed that only two effective drugs sertraline and paroxetine are much less effective in the military population as compared to the civilian population. He explained the identification and validation of biomarkers using different techniques like mass spectrometry, flow cytometry and mechanisms leading to interaction and targetted therapy in pre-clinical and clinical studies. The practical perspective of neuroimaging data, clinical psychology data and molecular data was also discussed.

Dr Jay Dave, Ex- EUQPPV, London, Technical Director, COD Research, delivered a talk on “Pharmacovigilance (PV) -A science valuing patient safety.” He explained the scope of pharmacovigilance as balancing of risk versus the benefit of therapy and education to healthcare professionals. He illustrated this by conveying the data of rare cases of an unusual blood clot following the Covishield vaccine (62 cases out of 34 million recipients and only 18 being fatal) inferring that it could not be given to a certain population only. He explained the five-fold role of a pharmacist with respect to academia, pharmacy practice, consumer, PV industry, and regulatory functions based on the global pharmacovigilance activity pyramid. He held that PV is performed both pre and post-marketing and every pharma company has a PV cell. In Europe, there is a provision of Quality Person for keeping continuous vigil. He further conveyed that awareness is growing in India and more than five lakh ADRs have been reported to WHO, but the policy is lenient and doctors are generally not forthcoming.

Dr Sathvik B Sridhar, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, the UAE, delivered a talk on “Telepharmacy: Current Status and its Future Implications for Provision of Pharmaceutical Care Services.” He highlighted the recent trends in healthcare services in the technology era as telehealth, telemedicine and telepharmacy and conveyed that telepharmacy has increased the role of hospital pharmacy services by serving the needs of patients from a distance. Telepharmacy has also enhanced the role of clinical pharmacy services in terms of medication reconciliation, medical review, medical counselling, TDM and drug/poison information. There are regulations/guidelines about telemedicine in India, but not about telepharmacy. There was provision about telepharmacy services during COVID-19 in most countries. It is time MCI guidelines include the provision of telepharmacy services.

Dr Rajesh Balakrishnan, Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Clinical Professor, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA, gave a talk on “Role of Pharmacist in Public Health.” He talked about the need for reviewing healthcare structure, process and outcome to derive maximum benefit. He conveyed those medicines evolve on the basis of drug research, but patient outcomes can be increased by making suitable adjustments as in case of endocrine therapy in breast cancer. He emphasised the need to evolve a healthcare system that ensures effectiveness, efficiency and equity by ensuring essential medicines access and properly addressing financial, structural and cultural issues. Pharmacist has a definite role in fulfilling these objectives.

Dr Santasabuj Das, Scientist “F” & Director-in-Charge, ICMR-National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, delivered a talk on “Antimicrobial resistance: antibiotic stewardship and the role of community pharmacists” wherein he touched upon some important points like limitations of testing kits, unjust/excessive use of antibiotics, uncontrolled dispensing at pharmacy settings and complementary role of vaccines in containing AMR. He called upon the need for including clinical pharmacy services in healthcare system in the developing countries like India.

Mitesh Patel, Senior Director – Asia Project Services, Q2 Solutions, Singapore, delivered a talk on “Clinical Trials and Central Laboratories: A guide to how Central Laboratories can support successful, inclusive Clinical Trials.” He explained the role of the central laboratory in the conduct of clinical trials involving 200-1,000 subjects. He clarified that the central laboratory is independent and need not be a part of any CRO. He also conveyed that decentralised trial is the future of clinical trials.

Dr Rakesh Patel, Professor and Head, Department of Life Sciences, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, gave a talk on “Pharmacogenomics of Cancer drug Resistance.” He referred to the role of biopsy of tissue by a histopathologist and the importance of different biomarkers with diagnostic, predictive, recurrent and pharmacodynamic applications. He briefed different types of treatments, including targetted and stem cell therapy. The crux of his talk was centered on personalised medicine for the cure of cancer taking cognizance of specific mutations like EGFR and ALK and how they affect the response of drugs like TKIs.

Dr Pramil Tiwari, Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacy Practice, NIPER, Mohali, spoke on “Pharmacy Informatics and Clinical Informatics.” He referred to information hierarchy and increase in complexity as one moves from telematics to R&D. He talked about the interconnectedness of health informatics, clinical informatics and pharmacy informatics and how medical informatics connects administration, IT and medicines in a hospital setting. He also discussed components of clinical informatics and the objectives of the hospital informatics system.

Dr Sagar Bachhav, Senior Clinical Pharmacologist, CPPM, AbbVie Inc, US, talked on “Applications of Clinical Pharmacometrics in Patient Care.” Pharmacometrics refers to the measurement of drug, disease and concomitant relationships. He dwelt on the drug development process using suitable models and exemplified its role in pediatric care for using microsampling and TDM in phenytoin. He also talked about several clinical pharmacometrics software.

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