Deficit of professionals


Source: Correio da Bahia, 20/09/2007

The ease that clerks have to indicate medications may be linked to another problem in the segment: many pharmacies do not have a pharmacist on duty, although they are required by law. In view of the lack of trained professionals, the attendants feel free to work in the way they think is correct. According to a survey by the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (Etco), Brazil has 52,8 pharmacies and only 40% of the 85,6 pharmacists in Brazil work in them.

Data from the same survey also revealed that 40% of the workforce in the country's pharmaceutical sector is informal. In addition, the rest of the employees (clerks and cashiers) are also considered insufficient. The Regional Pharmacy Council is responsible for monitoring compliance with the standard. President Altamiro José dos Santos is traveling and has not been reached via cell phone to provide further information.

In addition to fueling a parallel trade, the purchase of certain medicines indicated by sales clerks can harm the health of the consumer. Studies carried out by the Brazilian Institute for the Defense of Users of Medicines (Idum) show that 28% of drug indications by pharmacy assistants, in addition to self-medication, result in intoxication. The doctor Marcos Luna, from the Regional Council of Medicine of Bahia (Cremeb), states that the consumption of a medication, however simple it may be, can cause several complications, such as hemorrhages and allergic reactions. "This can happen with aspirin, for example, which is a medicine used so commonly," he said.