Pakistani expert Abdul Latif Sheikh awarded with prestigious American Award

Pakistani expert Abdul Latif Sheikh awarded with prestigious American Award

WASHINGTON - The American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) has awarded its prestigious Donald E. Francke Medal to eminent Pakistani pharmacist and expert Abdul Latif Sheikh for making a change in the field of clinical pharmacy and using his expertise in saving thousands of lives.

Sheikh is the president of the Pakistan Society of Health System Pharmacists (PSHP), the first Asian and only Pakistani to receive the Donald E Francke Medal.

The ASHP has given the prestigious medal and award to only 22 pharmacists of the world since 1971.

Sheikh served as World Health Organisation’s (WHO) advisor on medicines, worked in African, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern countries, Afghanistan and the United States before moving to Pakistan, where he established the clinical pharmacy department at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karachi.

Serving as chief pharmacist of the AKUH, Sheikh helped the Aga Khan Hospital in acquiring the prestigious JCI accreditation at a time when no healthcare facility in the country was having the accreditation, considered as a mandatory requirement for an international standard healthcare facility.

Congratulating him on receiving the prestigious medal and award, Sindh Health Secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho said it was an honour for Pakistan that one of its leading pharmacists had bagged the international award. He vowed that the government would recommend his name for the highest civil award in the field of medicine and public service.

He said thousands of people were dying due to medication errors by using wrong or lookalike drugs, which needed immediate attention, and asked the eminent pharmacist to assist the government in preparing a safe drug delivery system in the healthcare sector. “We would definitely require the services of Mr Sheikh, who has raised the flag of Pakistan in the world.”

People from other walks of life, including officials of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), Aga Khan University Hospital, the provincial drug secretariat and pharmaceutical industry, also congratulated Sheikh on the clinching the medal, and hoped that he would continue to strive for the betterment of pharmacy services in Pakistan.

The chief executive officer of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRAP), Shaikh Akhtar Hussain, said the regulatory authority would try to learn from the experiences of Sheikh in improving pharmacy services in Pakistan, and urged him to assist the authority in its recent campaign against spurious, counterfeit and smuggled drugs.