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FIP conference inspires New Zealand attendees

The need for pharmacists to adopt more patient-facing roles and assist GPs are just some of the lessons learned by New Zealand pharmacists returning from the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s annual World Congress.

Hosted in Glasgow, Scotland from 2 to 6 September, FIP’s annual event, now in its 78th year, is attended by hundreds of pharmacists from all over the world eager to discuss everything relevant to their areas of practice. Last year, 2500 pharmacists attended.

Included in the New Zealand contingent were pharmacists from the Pharmaceutical Society, University of Otago, New Zealand Defence Force and Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group.

CCPG general manager Aarti Patel was a first-timer at the conference and says it was a great opportunity to network and learn what pharmacists in other countries are doing.

But it was so huge she was unable to attend all the sessions she wanted to.

The key lessons she took away were the need for pharmacists to shift away from the supply functions of pharmacy to more patient-facing roles and the requirement for outcomes to be measured.

Pharmacist Dale Griffiths, who owns Westview Pharmacy in Auckland, says one of the things he particularly noticed at the conference is an international move to see more pharmacists in GP practices assist with the workload and apply their knowledge and skills to patient care.

“Australia, Canada and America are working hard at it, but we still have to figure out how we are going to do it,” Mr Griffiths says.

Mr Griffiths spent a very interesting day understanding the role of military and emergency pharmacists and the requirement for pharmacy to play a bigger part in disaster management.

Kiwi contribution to heart health acknowledged

Mr Griffiths is also involved in the International Pharmacists on Anticoagulation Care Taskforce (iPACT) and attended a couple of the group’s meetings around the conference, including an update on the publishing schedule for iPACT’s upcoming pharmaceutical care guidelines for patients receiving anticoagulant therapy.

He was heartened by the wide acknowledgement of New Zealand’s contribution to iPACT, with Heart Rhythm Week and AF Screening Week, at the conference.

As to the networking side, Mr Griffiths met a lot of Europeans and feels lucky to have spent some time with Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni.

“The RPS supports these conferences. It is about to publish a new online resource on adverse drug reactions, which will give guidance on how to minimise any ADR and alternative treatments options.”

New Zealand pharmacists will be able to access this through the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand’s medicines complete portal.

Article by: Pharmacy Today www.pharmacytoday.co.nz 

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