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The global health emergency of COVID-19 has proved that “pharmacists and pharmacies are integral to a well-functioning healthcare system” and that the profession has advanced at an “unprecedented rate”, expanding its scope of activities to provide more services, FIP president Dominique Jordan said in his presidential address at the opening of FIP’s 80th World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Seville, Spain, today. For example, according to FIP data as of August 2022, pharmacy-based vaccination is now available in at least 40 countries and territories — 20 more than in 2016.
Part of the presidential address was delivered by FIP vice president Ash Soni. On the FIP president’s behalf, Mr Soni said that it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health services as well as bringing additional burden, including an increase in mental health care needs. “Add wars and food insecurities to this landscape, and it can be no surprise that decades of improvements in health outcomes are now under threat of reversal,” he said. He added: “If universal health coverage is to become a reality, growth in the provision and use of essential health services through pharmacy must accelerate further. Pharmacy — through its many sectors and areas of expertise — is vital to universal health coverage,” he said.