Organised by the FIP Programme Committee
In some parts of the world, healthcare systems have improved dramatically over the years. Cancer and cardiac outcomes are better; waiting periods are shorter; patient satisfaction much higher, yet World Health Organization statistics still report uncontrolled health issues, such as neglected tropical diseases, immunisation needs and increasing mental illnesses. Almost 6 million children each year die under the age of five years, even though life expectancy worldwide is over 71 years.
Due to differences in financial background, legal frameworks and standards of practice quality, quality of care can be variable. Therefore, preventable illnesses are still widespread, and some health inequalities remain deep-rooted. Patients’ needs are changing, pharmaceutical science is opening new possibilities and new treatment options are emerging. Alongside the implementation of these new treatment options, we may face particular challenges in many areas of health. Our health systems need to adapt to take advantage of the opportunities that science and technology offer to patients, carers and those who serve them. Lifestyle issues also affect the outcomes of therapy, and the financial burden on our health systems.
Many countries will need to set out a clear direction for health reforms, showing why change is needed and what it will look like. Some initiatives will require new partnerships between regulation, practice and education, including patients, healthcare professionals, hospital and community pharmacy, and the pharmaceutical industry. New techniques will be needed to improve patient- and healthcare outcomes.
Pharmacists in different settings are the third largest healthcare professional group in the world after physicians and nurses. Hospital pharmacists are accepting new roles and developing clinical and pharmaco-economical skills; pharmacists in industry and science are embracing new technologies and expanding the use of IT assets. An emerging consensus among academics, professional organisations, and policymakers is that all pharmacists should be more visible and recognised in healthcare systems, especially those who work directly with the patients. They should adopt an expanded role in order to contribute to the safe, effective and efficient use of medicines — particularly when caring for people with multiple chronic conditions. Pharmacists already help to improve health by reducing drug-related adverse events and promoting better medication adherence, which in turn may help in reducing unnecessary provider visits, hospitalisations and readmissions, while strengthening integrated primary care delivery across the health system. New roles for pharmacists are currently emerging, such as the role of prescriber, vaccinator and health service provider.
As such, we all now have an opportunity to transform our practices in a way that will deliver better outcomes for patients. Through transformative thinking, modern educational methods, policy development and success in demonstrating the profession’s capacity, pharmacists can and should become part of the solution to the many challenges of the healthcare systems around the world. It is the responsibility of each of us to transform and advance the profession to improve the health of our patients and nations.
09:00 – 09:10 Introduction by the chairs
10:20 – 10:40 Coffee/tea break
11:50 – 12:00 Conclusion by the chairs
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
Type of session: Knowledge-based