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Launched in 2023, Pharma Vision is a groundbreaking initiative that caters to the global pharmaceutical community through two exceptional platforms: the Pharma Vision Podcast and an interactive online platform.

Exclusive: An interview with the Head of Syndicate of Iraqi Pharmacists, Dr. Mustafa Al-Hiti

In the third episode of Pharma Vision, we embarked on a unique journey to Baghdad, capital of Iraq, where the host conducted an exclusive interview in Arabic with Dr. Mustafa Al-Hiti, the Head of the Syndicate of Iraqi Pharmacists. This insightful conversation delved deep into the current state of pharmacists in Iraq and explored critical topics shaping the pharmacy profession in the region.

Note: The episode was recorded in Arabic.

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Discussed in this episode:

  • Dr. Mustafa Al-Hiti’s Remarkable Journey to Leadership as Head of the Syndicate of Iraqi Pharmacists.
  • Evaluation of the Current Situation of Pharmacists in Iraq and Reflections on its Alignment with Syndicate Standards.
  • Insights into the Quality of Pharmacy Education in Iraq and its Preparedness of Students for Successful Careers.
  • Examination of the Number of Pharmacists in Iraq and its Alignment with National Needs and International Standards.
  • The Rise of Private Pharmacy Colleges in Iraq and their Implications on Graduates’ Career Prospects.
  • Syndicate’s Vision and Plans for Pharmacists in Different Sectors, including Community, Hospital, Drugstore, and Factories.
  • Regulation of Pharmacy Ownership and Recommendations for Pharmacists Considering Opening Pharmacies.
  • Organizing the Medical Representative Career and Syndicate Initiatives for a More Structured Profession.
  • Insights into Medicine Pricing in Iraq and Efforts to Ensure Affordability for the Population.
  • Strategies to Combat the Illegal Entry of Medicines and Narcotics into Iraq and the Syndicate’s Vision for Addressing this Challenge.
  • Embracing Digitalization in Pharmacy and Recent Initiatives to Incorporate Digital Technology into the Profession.
  • Dr. Mustafa Al-Hiti’s Advice for Pharmacists on World Pharmacists Day and their Role in Improving Public Health.
  • Dr. Mustafa’s Vision for the Future of Pharmacists in Iraq, Providing a Glimpse into the Upcoming Developments in the Profession.

Biography of Dr. Mustafa Al-Hiti

Dr. Mustafa Muhammad Amin Al-Hiti is an accomplished pharmacist with a distinguished career. Holding a doctorate in his field, Dr. Mustafa’s journey has been marked by significant contributions to education, public service, and the pharmaceutical profession.

He began his career as a professor at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Baghdad, where he shared his knowledge and expertise with aspiring pharmacists. Notably, he assumed the role of dean at the College of Pharmacy following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. His tenure as dean continued until 2005, during which time he demonstrated strong leadership and dedication to the field of pharmacy.

In 2016, Dr. Mustafa’s expertise and leadership qualities garnered attention, and he was considered for various ministerial positions, including Minister of Planning and Minister of Defense. Ultimately, he was appointed to lead the Reconstruction Fund for Affected Areas in October 2016, reflecting his commitment to the recovery and development of Iraq.

Recognized for his dedication and contributions to various fields, Dr. Mustafa Al-Hiti was nominated to head the Iraqi Pharmacists Syndicate in 2018. In 2021, he was re-nominated as the head of the Iraqi Pharmacists Syndicate, a testament to his enduring commitment to the pharmaceutical profession and its vital role in the well-being of the Iraqi people.

Brief of the episode in English

00:48 [Question 1: A Remarkable Journey to Leadership]

Dr. Mustafa shared his remarkable journey to becoming the Head of the Syndicate of Iraqi Pharmacists, shedding light on the path that led him to this prestigious position.

17:10 [Question 2: Evaluating the Current Situation]

The conversation began with an evaluation of the current situation of pharmacists in Iraq. Dr. Mustafa shared his perspective on the state of the profession and whether it aligns with the expectations and standards set by the Syndicate.

He mentioned that he is not happy with the current situation of pharmacists in Iraq, providing some numbers and data about the increase of pharmacists who suffer from lack of career and jobs.

24:38 [Question 3: The Quality of Pharmacy Education]

The interview delved into the educational landscape, with a focus on pharmacy colleges in Iraq. Dr. Mustafa offered insights into the quality of education provided by these institutions and whether they adequately prepare students for a successful pharmacy career.

Dr. Mustafa thinks that the pharmacy education system needs reform and is not sufficient to prepare a pharmacist whom is ready for the career, and the approval of students into pharmacy colleges need to be organized and should have a realistic vision.

28:32 [Question 4: Pharmacist Numbers in Iraq]

The conversation touched on the number of pharmacists in Iraq, exploring whether the current workforce aligns with the nation’s needs and international standards.

The host mentioned that depending on the latest data from the Syndicate, and as of the end of 2022, there were more than 30,000 pharmacists across Iraq. Dr. Mustafa talked about the high number of pharmacists that as much more than the national needs, comparing to a pharmacist for each 3,500 population.

30:03 [Question 5: The Syndicate’s Vision for Pharmacists in Different Sectors]

The interview explored the Syndicate’s vision and plans regarding pharmacists’ roles in various sectors, including community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, drugstore and factories.

Dr. Mustafa talked about the need of having a system in the final year of pharmacy college, giving lectures and resources depending on each speciality.

31:26 [Question 6: Regulation of Pharmacy Ownership]

Dr. Mustafa provided insights into how the Syndicate deals with businessmen who obtain pharmacist licenses and open pharmacies. Additionally, he offered recommendations for pharmacists considering opening their own pharmacies.

33:59 [Question 7: Organizing the Medical Representative Career]

The discussion turned to the organization of the medical representative career, with Dr. Mustafa sharing the Syndicate’s actions to create a more structured profession.

35:11 [Question 8: Combatting Illegal Drug Entry]

Dr. Mustafa discussed the Syndicate’s efforts to combat the illegal entry of medicines and narcotics into Iraq, highlighting their vision for addressing this critical issue.

37:43 [Question 9: The Digitalization of Pharmacy]

Digitalization in pharmacy was a prominent topic, with insights into the Syndicate’s plans and recent initiatives to embrace digital technology within the profession.

41:02 [Question 10: World Pharmacists Day and Future Advice]

As World Pharmacists Day approached, Dr. Mustafa shared his advice for pharmacists and how they can continue to play a crucial role in improving people’s health and quality of life.

44:35 [Question 11: The Future of Pharmacists in Iraq]

The interview concluded by exploring Dr. Mustafa’s vision for the future of pharmacists in Iraq, offering a glimpse into what lies ahead for this essential profession.

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