Online pharmacy service is a facility that allows people to get access on pharmaceutical services using their internet. By this, pharmacists are able to communicate, to share skills and to contribute in drug monitoring. On the other hand people get served on line, get information about drugs and where to find them, they get advice and counseling and all pharmaceutical services in their diversities. PharmWeb is a good example.
On line pharmacy services can be seen as:
– Online pharmacy: Online pharmacies are pharmacies which operate over the internet. Many such pharmacies are, in some ways, similar to community pharmacies; the primary difference is the method by which the medication are requested and received.
– Online discussion forum: it is an online space on which pharmacists put their experiences in order to contribute in pharmaceutical acknowledges development. Note that there are subjected to critics from other pharmacists.
– Online guide: customers can easily find where to buy drugs, be guided on links of other pharmacy websites worldwide and by the way increase their skills about pharmaceutical products and how to use them.
– Online library: is an online repository of pharmaceutical information for educational and research purposes.
– Online training courses: pharmacists can receive training via
questionnaires uploaded on the internet.
Good pharmacy practice is defined as a good, standardized and organized provision of medications and other health care products and services and to help people and society to make the best use of them.
The research will concern about what kind of services that can be given online and their contribution to good pharmacy practice. Rwandese capacity of managing such engine will be taken account.
I.2. PROBLEMATIC STATEMENT
Now days the domain of pharmacy has become world widely of interest:
– Many people are directed to the pharmacy profession
– Many community pharmacies are opened.
– Particularly in Rwanda we have a very increasing number of pharmacists.
– We all know that a pharmacist must keep updating his/her knowledge.
– Now we are all aware that pharmaceutical care is an important tool to rich our goals as pharmacists.
– A large number of the population calls for pharmacy services.
All those statement above has brought me to these questions: A network, on which pharmacists can share their experiences and their knowledge, where the population can find their needs in pharmaceutical field and further more where pharmaceutical services can be monitored, will not be necessary?
Which kind of services will that site web include in order to meet good pharmacy practice?
Online pharmacy services will contribute significantly in order to meet good pharmacy practice in Rwanda.
I.4. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are divided into:
I.4.1. Overall objective
This study aims to elucidate the contribution that online pharmacy services will bring to the good pharmacy practice once established in Rwanda.
Specific objectives are:
– To show what kind of pharmaceutical services that can be handled online.
– To show how the online pharmacy services will improve good pharmacy practice
– To show the way by which an online pharmacy should be managed in order to meet good pharmacy practice guide lines.
-To sort out barriers which online pharmacy services are subjected to in their implementation and management in Rwanda.
I.5. STUDY INTEREST
Till now there is no pharmacy web site that operates in Rwanda. Not only the government policy which is encouraging us to use technology but also the population needs give us no other option than implementing technology in all domains. This study will show how and what kinds of pharmacy services can be given online and its results will serve for sure to anyone who wants to build a pharmacy website in Rwanda.
CHAP.II. LITTERATURE REVIEW
II.1. ONLINE PHARMACY SERVICES
II.1.1. History of online pharmacies
The first online pharmacy opened its virtual doors in 1994 in UK. Since then hundreds of online pharmacies have been created, serving patients from around the word. Many of the online pharmacies are subsidiaries of the brick-and-mortar pharmacies1, allowing the pharmacy to meet the health care needs of their patients regardless of their location.
Canada has become one of the leaders in providing customers with licensed online pharmacies. USA, UK, France, Belgium, Australia, Sweden and many other developed countries have followed and have also regularized their online pharmacies.
Africa is not blind to that new version of the pharmacy profession. In 2008 South-Africa has seen such pharmacies emerging and now the process of their regularization is under its way. Nigeria, Morocco and Kenya are counting such pharmacies. The first online pharmacy to be opened is PharmWeb. PharmWeb was created and developed as a personal hobby of Prof. A. D’Emanuele2 in the UK in 1994. PharmWeb was the first hierarchical information resource on the Internet for pharmaceutical and health-related information. Amongst its many initiatives, PharmWeb developed the first pharmaceutical society pages on the Internet (UKICRS), the first directory of health professionals on the Internet, and broadcast the first pharmaceutical conference live on the Internet. The creator of PharmWeb has published several papers on the Internet and the applications to the delivery of information. Indeed, an article published in early 1995 predicted many of the developments that have taken place on the Internet.
The philosophy of Prof. D’Emanuele has been skipped off for many year till 2005 when D’Emanuele Junior presented an article stipulating that online pharmacies should not be concerned about ordering and dispensing medication only but also they may include all pharmaceutical services in order to feet in the new dimension of pharmacy practice.
Since 2008 the Word has begun tasting the fruit of his work with many web site offering pharmaceutical services. This has attracted much interest from health professionals around the world and several international organizations began to collaborate with many of such websites to develop pharmaceutical information resources on the Internet. Now days many of them owe much of their success to the support received from major organizations that were keen to use this new communications medium. Organizations such as the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) sponsored some of the early developments on PharmWeb including on-line databases and Internet discussion groups. Several other organizations have now also joined this new vision of pharmacy profession. Online pharmacies have developed into professionally managed Internet providers specializing in pharmaceutical and health related information.
With the coming of pharmacy informatics which is the combination of pharmacy practice and applied information science, the pharmacy profession has become real passion; most of pharmaceutical services can be offered online and others has become easy to handle. There is no online pharmacy that operates in Rwanda but some websites concerned about health are emerging and are under control of the ministry of health. This comes to show that the provision of health care online in our country is existing domain. In addition, Rwanda has joined the EAC. Now we are evolving hand in hand with other country like Kenya that has a very developed pharmaceutical industry with online pharmaceutical services. All this to show that this is an issue to be thought about. II.1.2. Key words definition
This word hard several meaning depending on the domain in which it is used. Online means available over the internet, connected to a network and ready to use. In our concern the definition ‘service available directly through a computer system or under its direct control is more appropriate.
It is the health profession that links the health science with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe use of pharmaceutical products. The word derives from the Greek: φάρμακον (pharmakon) meaning drug or medicine. It is the profession of compounding and dispensing medication. More recently the term has come to include other services related to patient care including clinical practice, medication review, drug information etc.
II.2. GOOD PHARMACY PRACTICE
The history of pharmacy as an individual science is relatively young. The origins of pharmaceutical historiography back to the first third of the s. XIX which is when the first historiographies that while not touching all aspect of pharmaceutical history is the starting point for the final start of this science. Until the birth of pharmacy as an independent science, there is a historical evolution from antiquity to the present day that marks the course of this science, always connected to the medicine
Community pharmacy (Retail pharmacy in industry terminology) is where the dichotomy of the profession exists. It is the place where most pharmacists practice the profession of pharmacy. It consists of a retail storefront with a dispensary where medications are stored and dispensed. The openings of the first drugstores are recorded by Muslim pharmacists in Baghdad in 754.
As shown above pharmacy has a long past of existence so does pharmacy practice. As the profession develops the notion of Good pharmacy practice has be introduced in order to standardize the provision of medication and other health care products and this depending on the type of areas in which a pharmacist is practicing.
II.2.2. Type of pharmacy practice areas
Pharmacists practice in a variety of areas including retail, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, mental hospitals, internet, and regulatory agencies.
Pharmacists can specialize in various areas of practice including but not limited to hematology/oncology infection diseases, pediatrics, nutrition support, drug information, patient care. The extent of specialization which importunate a pharmacist has generated many types of areas.
Community pharmacy, Hospital pharmacy, Veterinary pharmacy
Nuclear pharmacy, Military pharmacy, Pharmacy informatics,
Compounding pharmacy, Consultant pharmacy, Internet pharmacy and pharmacy informatics.
II.2.2. Key words definition
Good pharmacy practice: is a good, standardized and organized provision of medications and other health care products and services and to help people and society to make the best use of them. Pharmacy practice includes the provision of pharmaceutical services rendered by the pharmacist in the health care system to support the provision of pharmaceutical care. Pharmaceutical services: at its simplistic way a pharmaceutical service is a service rendered by a pharmacist. Those services specifically cover the supply of pharmaceutical products, information, education and communication to promote public health, the provision of drug information and counseling, regulatory services, education and trainings.
II.2.3. Pharmaceutical services handled online.
All pharmaceutical services can not be handled online. Here is a list of those which can be dispensed over the internet
3.1. Supply of pharmaceutical product. This includes all activities related to ordering and dispensing pharmaceutical products. Ordering Community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies and other health care centers can order pharmaceutical products by internet. This is a good and easy way to get access to pharmaceutical products, to prevent stock-outs, to minimize time and fees spent under the ordering process. It has been shown, in Canada, that 73% of orders sent to whole stores are proceeded using the internet and this has reduced 1.7milion $ to the money spent in ordering per year. This can be very useful in our country. In fact we land in a country of very limited resources but with many potentialities but with access to a network connection by more than 60% of the population. This can reduces expenses used in the process of ordering.
Dispensing Community pharmacy can dispense drug by using internet. This is suitable especially for medicines which do not require prescription. However for those which require prescription, a prescription is faxed or scanned and emailed so that it can be validated. Then after you are requested to pay (by credit card or visa card) and the drug is sent to your location.
3.2. Information and publication to promote public health This includes all information related to pharmaceutical issues, heath issues and other information that can help to promote public health. The Rwandese population needs to be informed about health issues in our country; new treatments available, regularization on heath issues, schools programs…