You can now turn to your neighbourhood pharmacist not just for buying medicines, but also for advise on ailments such as blood pressure, diabetes and tuberculosis.
About 5,000 pharmacists owners in the state, including many in Mumbai, have been trained to measure blood pressure and blood sugar levels at minimal costs. They have also been given lessons in nutrition and diet that help control life style diseases.
S.W. Deshpande, honorary director of the Drug Control Officers Association of India, and Ashok Giri, state Food and Drugs Administration’s (FDA) assistant commissioner, have formulated the project.
Under the project, a pharmacist keeps a tab on regular customers, records their medication and their stocks. He urges them to control ailments such as blood pressure and diabetes through medication. The project also aims to get families of customers checked for hereditary disorders.
“Pharmacists could be used effectively in the public health care system as patients visit them often and discuss health issues,” said Deshpande, former joint commissioner of FDA.
Deshpande said the project, after the success of last year’s pilot programme, is being implemented in partnership with the state unit of the association of chemists and pharmacists that has 60,000 members.
Speaking about the pilot project, Giri said: “In Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli, 54 pharmacists were selected. In three months, they helped 74 per cent of their clients get serious disorders diagnosed and treated.”