Clinical pharmacy in Sri Lanka: translating training into practice

Coombes, Ian, Judith Coombes, and Andrew Dawson. "Clinical pharmacy in Sri Lanka: translating training into practice." Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research 45, no. 4 (2015): 392-393.

Sri Lanka has a strong national health system, which has achieved developed world health outcomes. It has also had a sustained commitment to drug policy ranging from its innovative role in essential drug lists[1] to the most recent iteration of national drug policy, which focuses upon quality use of medicines.[2]

Pharmacy training was introduced in the early 1950s, evolving into a diploma of pharmacy. The role of pharmacists was predominantly limited to drug procurement, distribution, dispensing and inventory. In response to the National Drug Policy that promoted the development and utilisation of local expertise in clinical pharmacology and clinical pharmacy, there has been a dramatic and rapid development in the training of pharmacists with the introduction of an undergraduate bachelor of pharmacy degrees at six universities.

There has been a number of challenges, including the lack of clinical pharmacy mentors, tutors or role models to provide undergraduate training and clinical leadership. Until 2009, the BPharm programs were being taught by academics with pharmacy, medical and science backgrounds, including clinical pharmacologists, who had little experience as clinical pharmacists. Sri Lankan academics were concerned about the gaps in clinical pharmacy expertise and so approached Australian clinical pharmacists to collaborate…

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