Hello everyone! My warm greetings to all readers! Hope you all would be healthy and doing well in your life.
In 2019, families in India were running with the priorities like food, shelter, education of children job opportunities and healthcare etc, where healthcare was ranking at the position third or fourth or even later. While making a budget these families were keeping the minimum share for healthcare which was restricted to the purchase of lifesaving prescription drugs for chronically ill elders in the family. These families were expending their earning on paying back EMI of their homes or on paying fees for the education of their children; without thinking critically about the purchase of healthcare products.
Since March 2020, when COVID-19 pandemic hit India for the first time, whole media across the country unanimously advertised about ‘how we can resist the spread of the COVID infection by using some preventive measures’. It was the first time when middle-class families become serious on preventive healthcare and started budgeting some amount for purchasing OTC products. As the cases started rising in the country, panic also peaked with it; which put these families on a compulsion to purchase preventive healthcare products. Among these products mask and hand sanitizers become ‘must purchase’ things. Because prevention and treatment of COVID is still non-specific; it is charging them additionally as the whole population is experimenting amongst few options which they listen through media like TV, newspaper, magazines, even messenger apps etc. Now peoples are visiting medical shops daily for purchasing some modern or herbal medicine with some preventive OTC products like mask and hand sanitizers. One important thing which we must notice is that “medical shops were excused through all the lockdowns declared by the government so far, considering them the most important need of the life’.
In total what has changed? Mindset and priority of expenditure have changed. The perspective towards life and ignorance to healthcare has changed. Bad food habits and cold beverage consumption has changed. This is working as fuel in boosting the healthcare professions particularly “Pharmacy” in the nation. This has improved the position of the pharmacist as a professional in society and showered additional respect to them. As a leading country like the USA asked India to supply lifesaving drug “Hydroxychloroquine” even a common man can understand India’s drug production strengths and its overall progress in the field of Pharmacy. It is now clear to our citizens that we have world-class vaccine production labs as Serum institute and Bharat Biotech which may, at any time serve the vaccine requirement of the nation. We are now started accepting that herbal drugs are very potential and affordable option to fight pandemic like COVID-19. The tremendous amount of ancient knowledge and its legacy is just not the myth but it’s a fact. Now, this generation is understanding that ‘untouchability’ in history was not just originated through bad intension but it was probably the most important tool for restricting the spread of dangerous contagious diseases. Now, this term is replaced by the other term ‘social distancing’ to save the precious life of citizens.
So, at this juncture let us, welcome new aspirants, to the Pharmacy profession and wish them good luck for their journey to this lovely profession. Cheers!!!
Dr Subhash Kumbhar