The Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) delivered an update on its initiative for sports pharmacists when it staged a conference in Tokyo last month to mark the organization’s 10th anniversary.
The Sports Pharmacist System was launched by JADA in 2009 and designed to give Japanese pharmacists an in-depth knowledge of anti-doping and also boosting athletes’ confidence in the profession.
With the specific aim of reducing the possibility of unintentional ingestion of prohibited substances among Japanese athletes, JADA joined forces with the Japan Pharmaceutical Association to set up the initiative.
JADA’s goal by 2014 is to have in excess of 7,000 pharmacists either certified or attending seminars with a view to gaining certification. And with almost 3,000 pharmacists having received anti-doping instruction by the close of last year, JADA believes it is on course to meet its target.
“Clearly athletes face the possibility of prohibited substances entering their bodies either through medicines and or the growing availability of supplements,” said JADA Chief Executive Officer Shin Asakawa.
“Our Sports Pharmacist System is designed to try and minimize that happening. Athletes are responsible for what is in their system, so the more we can educate pharmacists – who in turn can provide the correct advice to athletes – the more chance there is of avoiding these unfortunate occurrences.”
The System is available only to fully-qualified and licensed pharmacists, who must complete and pass both the ‘basic’ and ‘practical’ courses delivered by JADA.
They also must attend an annual lecture to maintain their certificate and pass a further exam when the certificate it up for renewal.
“Our aim is to have all pharmacists in Japan equipped with the same anti-doping expertise so an athlete knows that wherever he is in the country he will be getting the same advice,” added Mr. Asakawa.
“By the end of this year we expect to have had 5,000 pharmacists involved in the System and I am confident we can achieve the target of 7,000 we have set ourselves for 2014.
“Education is one of the main pillars of the anti-doping community, and if we can properly educate pharmacists in best anti-doping practice then that can only be good for athletes and sport as a whole.”
The System also provides athletes with 24-hour access to pharmacists qualified in anti-doping. These pharmacists can be accessed through a special internet search tool.
For further information on JADA’s Sports Pharmacists System, please contact YaYa Yamamoto: firstname.lastname@example.org