PharmAcademy: Guiding pharmacists to become trusted, indispensable community healthcare providers

The Philippine Star
PharmAcademy: Guiding pharmacists to become trusted, indispensable community healthcare providers
PharmAcademy enhances pharmacists’ knowledge and skills with Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Digital Learning Campaigns, and soft skills and business acumen learning modules at zero cost.
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MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 pandemic has made it essential for people to practice self-care. With the World Health Organization declaring the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency, people have become more aware of the gaps in the healthcare system and are motivated now more than ever to take care of their own health.

With this, Sanofi hopes to help improve health outcomes and quality of life by giving the public access to science-based solutions and avenues for better education for the public to make informed and empowered self-care decisions. 

“What we hope for the public to understand is that self-care is not selfish—self-care actually is the most effective way for us to be in the best position to help ourselves and help those we care about live a productive life,” said Maria Valentina Sposito, head of ASEA for Sanofi Consumer Healthcare.

“We at Sanofi believe in building a healthier future by helping people help themselves. And we do this through ‘taking the time to understand what people need to ensure they’re fully present and productive in their lives and providing resources and information so people are empowered to make the right health decisions’.”  

Sanofi sees self-care as enabling people to take their health into to their own hands, allowing them to ultimately take better care of themselves and of others. Of course, this practice must be done safely and effectively, and key to this is solidifying public trust with healthcare providers particularly the ones closest to them—their friendly neighborhood pharmacists. 

Globally, pharmacists are seen as experts and the cornerstone for the effective provision of universal healthcare. They usually work in and lead dynamic teams in their community practices and collaborate with other health professionals on the emerging needs of their patients. To compare this with how Philippine pharmacists are viewed, people are still stuck on the idea that the role of pharmacists are transactional in the store instead of actual healthcare professionals that can provide patients with guidance and information.

Sanofi has taken the opportunity to unlock their potential of being world-class healthcare professionals by equipping them with the proper educational tools with the launch of PharmAcademy.

“To help shift the roles of pharmacists from transactional to consultative we came up with PharmAcademy—a learning journey that drives counseling and recommendation to enable Filipino pharmacists to be at the forefront of counselling and making self-care easy to understand and accessible to consumers,” Dr. Thorsten Berg, Scientific Affairs Head of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare AMEA (Asia/Middle East/Africa), remarked.

“We’re not just educating pharmacists with medical information with PharmAcademy, we’re also teaching them about essential holistic skills such as counseling, understanding their customers, inventory management, shelf merchandising, financials and cash flow—skills that are relevant for them as both healthcare providers and world-class professionals,” Sposito added. 

PharmAcademy: an educational tool for all

In its mission to support and empower Filipino pharmacists, Sanofi created PharmAcademy as a learning platform for pharmacists to be trained in different topics that cover both technical and soft skills, upskilling Filipino pharmacists all over the country and uplifting the future of the practice of pharmacy in the country.

More importantly, courses completed through PharmAcademy allow practitioners to earn credit points to renew their pharmacy licenses and continue their practice. 

In its four-year run in the Philippines, PharmAcademy has been able to reach over 5,000 pharmacists each year. This year, Sanofi partnered with SwipeRx, a learning application dedicated for pharmacists, and the Philippine Pharmacists Association Inc. (PPHA), the official organization representing Philippine pharmacists to make PharmAcademy available to all Filipino pharmacists in the country. 

“Filipino pharmacists are trained to counsel patients, but there is also a need to empower them to gain the confidence to approach patients and address concerns in their respective pharmacies,” PPHA President Ma. Gilda Saljay said.

“This is the biggest challenge for all Filipino pharmacists, one we’re working towards improving. We want to empower and educate pharmacists with the right skills to help unburden the country’s healthcare system.”

PharmAcademy enhances pharmacists’ knowledge and skills with Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Digital Learning Campaigns and soft skills and business acumen learning modules at zero cost. The platform provides content and courses on a variety of topics such as Disease Management, Patient Counseling, Immunology and Medication Adherence, which all pharmacists and SwipeRx users across the country can access and learn at their own pace. 

“I’m so happy that Sanofi approached us for PharmAcademy because we believe this will help our pharmacists with their capacity-building and trust building with patients. We see this as a great opportunity for Filipino pharmacists to make people aware of what we can offer to the public and how essential we are to the healthcare system,” Saljay shared.

Through PharmAcademy, Filipino pharmacists will not only be equipped with a holistic set of skills, covering not only their capability to manage their respective pharmacies, and reaching and understanding their patients’ needs, but also make self-care simple and accessible to their patients. 

Pharmacademy on SwipeRx: learning in 3-easy steps

With PharmAcademy readily accessible to the public, completing the courses can be as easy as a few taps:

  1. Download the SwipeRx app through the Google Play store or Apple App store.
  2. Log in if you already have an account, but if you’re a new user, sign up using an active email. 
  3. Once you’ve successfully logged in/signed up, you will find PharmAcademy readily available right on the homepage of the app. 

“With Sanofi’s goal to normalize the practice of proper self-care and developing and growing Philippine pharmacists in reaching their maximum potential of providing better care as a means to educate Filipinos, PharmAcademy in partnership with PPHA and SwipeRx is a step in the right direction that we hope pharmacists take advantage of to be better consultants to Filipinos,” Dr. Berg concluded. 


MAT-PH-2300791 / Ver 1.0 / DA 06-2023 / DM 06-2023

Opella Healthcare Philippines Inc.


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