The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi has held its 6th White Coat Ceremony on the theme: “'Drug Development, the Role of the PharmD Pharmacist in the Provision of Pharmaceutical Care.” The ceremony saw Three Hundred and Twenty-Four (324) Doctor of Pharmacy students being robed in their white coats by key preceptors, alumni of FPPS, and pharmacist parents.
The Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Berko Panyin Anto, in his welcome address, acknowledged and recognised the commitment, support, and sacrifices of the parents and guardians. ‘We are highly appreciative of the trust you have reposed in us to ensure success in this noble journey as we dutifully provide them with highly valuable academic, professional, and personal development experience. We can promise you that your trust and investments here in the Faculty of Pharmacy are well placed.’
He paid special tribute to those who came before him who had a vision and aspiration to train pharmacists in current trends in pharmacy practice, with an emphasis on patient-centred care through a medicine-centred approach, and in accordance with acceptable international standards in pharmacy practice. According to him, after the White Coat Ceremony, their training will be geared towards developing analytical, evaluative, and creative skills. He expects them to offer and defend opinions based on sound judgment, organise, integrate, and utilise scientifically proven concepts to achieve better patient outcomes.
A representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rexford Assassie Oppong stressed on the importance of the white gown. According to him, the White Coat Ceremony epitomises extraordinarily high levels of professionalism, transparency, sanctity and decency. He further entreated the students to return to KNUST without blemish.
The Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Christian Agyare emphasised that the clinical years may be challenging but with the support of their committed faculty, they will sail through. He advised them to be punctual, embrace teamwork and exhibit good work ethics to stand out and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The Director of United States Pharmacopeia Ghana and Promoting the Quality of Medicines Plus Program-West Africa, Mr. Kwasi Poku Boateng delivered the keynote address on the theme. He explained that during the development and clinical trial stages, clinical pharmacists conduct research on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety, and efficacy. They also bring a unique perspective to the research team, in their collaboration with physicians, basic scientists, and other healthcare personnel, and are often cited as the first author in publications, he added.
Mr. Boateng intimated that the PharmD Pharmacist is well equipped to play a role in the preparation of the application dossier, which is submitted by the manufacturer as well as the review and approval process carried out by the Medicines Regulatory Authority. He also outlined the regulatory filing review and approval stages of drug development and opportunities for PharmD.