Career Advising Session for PharmD Students: Smart Pharmacy Initiative & The Future of Pharmacy Automations

Representatives from Gulf Drug LLC delivered a seminar on the ‘Smart Pharmacy’ initiative for GMU PharmD students on December 4, 2018. The initiative is part of the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Programme for Smart Government Award that was launched in 2013. Mr. Georges Siklawi, the application specialist of pharmacy automation unit, gave a brief outlook on the different units being implemented across major hospitals and pharmacies in the UAE. Clinical Pharmacy Specialists, Dr. Ayaa Jalabi spoke about the importance of these applications in the progressive development of pharmacy practice where pharmacists can pace more focus on patient care, monitoring and detecting drug related problems as well as counselling. These automated units will be able to assist in patient and outpatient pharmacy departments with inventory, dispensing from automated shelves and tracking medication output.

Dalia Yousef, fourth-year pharmacy student commented, “I had initially thought that the term “smart pharmacy” implied that my profession was at risk and that my job prospects would soon be eliminated. However, after attending this seminar, I have come to learn that it is so much more than that. It would eliminate human errors and the need for human input in menial tasks, such as dispensing and refilling from shelves that could be easily done via automation. Instead, pharmacists could better utilize their time in tasks that they otherwise struggled with such as adequate counselling and follow up of patients. This would create more jobs and more opportunities and help me as a pharmacist advance and progress further in my field. Technology is the future, and I am optimistic that it will be in the best interests of the healthcare sector if we embraced it.”

Zainab Rehman, fifth-year pharmacy student commented; “With the current status in global the session was very informative in raising awareness about new technological systems in pharmacy practice and much more innovative ways to deliver patient care. Decreasing waiting time during dispensing procedures in one of the beneficial factors of using automation systems, patient convenience is one of our main goals in delivering care.”

Sara Mudher, fifth-year pharmacy student as well was more intrigued by the opportunities of new career paths opening in pharmacy informatics and the future with automation in healthcare.