Developing a landmark community pharmacist training program


    A partnership between Upjohn, a Pfizer Division, and Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPhA) is poised to create a significant impact on healthcare through a national community pharmacists training program entitled the PPhA-Upjohn Pharmacists Level Up! Program.

    The Pharmacists Level Up! Program is designed to bridge the gap in healthcare around hypertension, the 6th cause of death in the country according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

    “At Upjohn, we recognize that there’s a need to raise awareness about the prevalence and effects of hypertension in the Philippines, and we want to provide support for hypertensive patients throughout their medical journey,” said Upjohn General Manager Melissa Comia.

    “By equipping pharmacists with sufficient knowledge and skills, we can screen possible hypertensive patients at the pharmacy level. Pharmacists can also provide patient intervention to promote awareness on the effects of uncontrolled hypertension and encourage medication adherence.”

    This training program is focused on the use of standardized protocol and other tools in providing pharmaceutical care intervention aimed at patients with hypertension. The program targets to have at least 80 pharmacists per batch—with a total of six batches to receive training from 2020 to 2021.

    A part of the training is skills development for pharmacists in monitoring blood pressure and medication adherence of patients, conducting physical assessments, recommending lifestyle modifications, and providing counselling and education to patients with hypertension.

    The course will be divided into eight (8) learning sessions, and at the end of the course, the pharmacists who took the training would be able to screen patients for hypertension and deliver the appropriate pharmacy interventions, particularly in the community pharmacy setting.

    “This short course intends to enhance pharmacists’ competencies in supporting the physicians in managing hypertensive patients by equipping them with the essential skills to effectively detect potential hypertensive patients and refer them to the appropriate primary care facility. The program also aims to improve patients’ compliance to their medications,” said Bryan Posadas, RPh, MBA, PPhA Assistant Secretary and Program Lead.