The Hague • 13 September 2020
Initiative to assure the quality of compounded medicines in Belgium and medicines adherence service in Spain share FIP’s 2020 practice improvement award
Campaign raising mental health awareness scoops global award for young pharmacists in Nigeria
Eight pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists singled out for commendation by global pharmacy leader
A programme that has improved the quality of medicines compounded in community pharmacies in Belgium is the joint winner of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Pharmacy Practice Improvement Award for 2020. The award to the Association of Pharmacists Belgium (APB) was announced today at FIP Virtual 2020, and is shared with the General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain for its work on medicines adherence.
Medicines are compounded daily in community pharmacies in Belgium. While pharmacists generally follow quality assurance (QA) guidelines, before the APB project they had limited information on the quality of the medicines prepared and, because QA testing can be destructive, they were not best equipped to undertake such testing. The APB set up a novel National Quality Improvement Programme for Compounded Medicines, agreed with the Belgian Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs. It is run in close collaboration with the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products, and consists of a quality control system for pharmacy preparations and support for pharmacists. Pharmacies volunteer to compound a specific formulation from an APB list and send it to the association for analysis, which includes physicochemical testing, content uniformity, dosage, microbiological purity and sterility. Product labelling and documentation are also assessed. Structured feedback is provided to the pharmacy and aggregated and anonymised results are published monthly.
One in five pharmacies in Belgium has already participated in the programme, which has identified that although pharmacists score well with some preparations, for others up to a third are underdosed or have other non-conformities. This has led to the optimisation of preparation protocols as well as corrections to the country’s Therapeutic Magistral Formulary.
APB president Mr Lieven Zwaenepoel said: “Pharmacy compounding may be perceived by some to be an obsolete activity, but APB strongly believes that this decade will be remembered as the revival of the compounding pharmacist in response to societal needs, which include new dosage forms such as biodegradable oral films, production of solid oral dosage forms by 3D printing and the use of pharmacogenetic information to adapt dosages for individuals. It’s an honour to receive this global award, particularly for our laboratory and science department, which led the project.”
The winning initiative of the joint awardee, the General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain (GPCS), is a research project called AdherenciaMED. This project evaluated the improvement, maintenance and adherence to therapy achieved by a pharmacy adherence service in patients with hypertension, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Its first phase, involving 98 community pharmacies and 1,186 patients, found a 50% increase in adherence in the intervention group compared with a 20% increase in the control group. Improvements included better clinical control and increased quality of life for patients with asthma.
The service consists of pharmaceutical advice provided to patients based on evidence-based models for behavioural change, as well as using strategies such as monitored dosage systems and education on inhaler technique. Interventions are recorded electronically. The initiative includes support to pharmacies from a practice change facilitator, who helps pharmacists implement the changes needed to incorporate the service into their daily routine.
The service was also found to be cost-effective. For every EUR 1 invested, the service provided value of EUR 38 per patient within six months. A second phase of the project looked at implementation aspects and determined that 75% of pharmacies were able to fully provide the service at six months and successfully integrate the service into their daily practice. Mr Jesús Aguilar Santamaría, GPCS president, said: “The General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain welcomes the international recognition of this work. Lack of adherence to therapy is one of the main challenges for healthcare professionals and healthcare systems and, in Spain, is estimated to generate an expenditure of EUR 11,250m per year.”
FIP’s 2020 Health Promotion Campaign Award went to the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Young Pharmacists’ Group (PSN-YPG), which developed a suicide prevention campaign that was held on World Mental Health Day. Working in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Institute of Nigeria and mental health advocacy and rehabilitation organisations, 40 young pharmacist volunteers were trained on managing mental health issues. They chose to take their campaign, which consisted of three elements: an educational series on social media, a health walk and a public engagement exercise in a community with a high incidence of drug abuse in central Lagos. Information was given in the five languages common to the community, both verbally and through flyers. The campaign reached over 1,150 people and about 200 people were referred to the partner organisations involved in the campaign for follow-up.
“Nearly 80% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds in the world, and Nigeria is not an exception. Despite the staggering statistics, awareness is relatively low and mental health issues are spoken about in hushed tones. This campaign enabled pharmacists, as key players in public health, to shed more light on this issue, and we are very proud to receive this international award,” said Yinka Oguns, coordinator, PSN-YPG Lagos.
Individual FIP awards
Eight pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists from six countries were recognised for their contribution to pharmacy and made FIP Fellows at the opening ceremony of FIP Virtual 2020 today:
• Mr Jaime Acosta Gomez (Spain)
• Dr Jill E. Martin Boone (USA)
• Prof. William N. Charman (Australia)
• Dr Martin Henman (Ireland)
• Prof. Marilyn Morris (USA)
• Dr Charlotte Rossing (Denmark)
• Dr Vaiyapuri Subramaniam (USA)
• Prof. Shigeo Yamamura (Japan)
In addition, Prof. William Charman also received the Kamal K. Midha Award for Exceptional Leadership.
Notes for editors
Images Pictures of the award winners are available here.
Links Videos about the initiatives can be viewed via the following links:
About FIP The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through its 146 member organisations, it represents over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. www.fip.org
About FIP Fellowships An FIP Fellowship recognises individual members of FIP who have exhibited strong leadership internationally, who have distinguished themselves in pharmacy practice or the pharmaceutical sciences, who have contributed to the advancement of the practice of pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences, and who have served FIP. FIP Fellows may use the designation “FFIP”.
About the Kamal K. Midha Award The purpose of the Kamal K. Midha award is to recognise officers of FIP and individuals who have rendered exceptional leadership in pharmaceutical education, science or practice serving the mission of FIP.
About FIP Virtual 2020 FIP Virtual 2020 is a three-week programme of international pharmacy events running from 4 to 25 September.
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