Community pharmacists have the opportunity to integrate evidence-based complementary medicine alongside conventional medical treatment for enhanced patient care.
This potential was recently explored at the Blackmores Institute Thai Symposium in line with the BI commitment to providing health professionals with valuable insights on translating research into clinical practice.
The commitment to ongoing education was continued with the formalization of the partnership with leading academics, in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Chulabhorn International College of Medicine Thammasat University.
The over-prescription of medications such as NSAIDs and antibiotics is a global public health challenge. The government of Thailand has launched the Rational Drug Use (RDU) policy initiative to combat this over-prescription. The Symposium was an opportunity for key industry leaders and stakeholders, together with governmental policymakers, to instigate alternatives in this environment. Dr Lesley Braun, Director Blackmores Institute, Dr. Pisonthi Chongtrakul, a professor at Chulalongkorn University, Thai FDA representatives, pharmacists and academics in the field were among the 180 participants of the event.
“Increasingly, complementary medicine is being shown to work alongside conventional treatments to help individual manage complex health conditions and improve their quality of life,” said Dr Lesley Braun, Director of Blackmores Institute. “Therefore, it is vital that our healthcare professionals can provide the public with clear, evidence-based advice regarding the best way to use these combined methods to improve safety and enhance the responsible use of integrative medicine.”
The Blackmores Institute online education program will be launched in Thailand to provide education for pharmacists, to translate clinical evidence into every day, practical advice for their consumers. A recent nationwide survey of pharmacists highlighted the current low engagement of community pharmacists with CM. The online education program will play a part in improving the knowledge and confidence of pharmacists to provide CM advice to their patients.
Dr Lesley Braun said the Blackmores Education platform will cater for healthcare professionals providing them with training, videos and easy-to-use tools for practice.
Blackmores Institute has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chulabhorn International College of Medicine at Thammasat University. Professor Kammal Kumar Pawa, Dean of CICM, Thammasat University stated, “As part of the collaboration, we look forward to having the opportunity for continued CM research. Signing the MoU signifies the first step in educating HCPs about the importance of integrative medicine. We look forward to combining our respective knowledge in integrative medicine through curriculum building so that we can continuously integrate the knowledge on CM.”