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EAHP: A 5 point plan for meeting the challenges of an ageing society

29 Feb, 16 | by

Ahead of its annual Congress in Vienna, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has today published a new policy statement highlighting the important role of hospital pharmacists in meeting the pan-European challenge of an ageing society.


EAHP past President Roberto Frontini receives international award for patient safety efforts

28 Jan, 16 | by

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) extends its warmest congratulations to its past President Dr Roberto Frontini on receiving the prestigious Donald E. Francke Medal at the annual Mid Year Clinical meeting of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. The award was presented in honour of his international efforts to promote medication safety and improve patient outcomes.



EAHP opens new look practice survey

10 Feb, 15 | by

In the run up to its annual Congress, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has issued a new format practice survey to heads of hospital pharmacy across Europe. The survey aims to shine light on the current state of practice in EAHP’s member countries, and where attention for practice development is most required.

Since the 1990s, EAHP has conducted landmark surveys of practice on a quinquennial basis in order to:

  • monitor the changes occurring across Europe in relation to what the hospital profession does and how it does it;
  • locate where best and good practice exists; and,
  • identify where progress may be below aspiration level.

The last survey was conducted in 2010 with results published via a series of articles in the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy.

2015 sees a new departure for the EAHP practice survey, with its basis now firmly routed in the 44 European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy. The statements were agreed at a 2014 Summit with hospital pharmacy organisations, patients and other healthcare professionals, and now form the principal platform for EAHP’s practice development activity. The 2015 ‘baseline survey’ now issued to EAHP’s member associations for circulation, will take a picture of how hospital pharmacy in Europe stands overall against the 44 aspirational European statements. From autumn 2015 EAHP’s survey activity will then move to an annual calendar, focusing on 2 of the 6 statement areas.

Speaking about the changes to the survey, and its importance, Jennie De Greef, EAHP Chief Operating Officer, said:

“EAHP’s survey of practice has always been an important tool for our members in comparing how practice in their country and region relates to the European whole. It can provide a powerful stimulus for renewed development effort, and a spotlight for learning from good practice.

However, just as time does not stand still in the way hospital pharmacy delivers its services, so technology and feedback are enabling us to continually improve how we conduct our survey. The 2015 survey is therefore entirely electronic, can be saved and returned to, and will be opened, closed, analysed and published within a much faster turn around period than we were previously able to achieve.

We’re excited to publish the results later this year, and believe, with the new underpinning of the European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy, which gives us the directional road map of where we all want the profession in Europe to head for, the utility and importance of this survey in driving change will be stronger than ever.”

This post was originally published on the EAHP website, for more information please visit here

REPORT: Patients suffering from medicines shortages in all European countries

17 Nov, 14 | by

A new report on medicines shortages experienced in European healthcare systems reveals that over 86% of hospital pharmacists are experiencing difficulties in sourcing medicines with 66% reporting this as a daily or weekly problem. The top affected areas are medicines to fight infection, cancer drugs and anesthetics.

The report by the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), surveyed the experiences of over 600 hospital pharmacists in 36 European countries, and presents a striking picture of how medicines shortages are affecting the treatment of patients across the continent.

75% of surveyed hospital pharmacists either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “medicines shortages in my hospital are having a negative impact on patient care”. Consequences for patients included delayed or interrupted chemotherapy treatment, unnecessary experience by patients of side effects, heightened clostridium difficile risk and deterioration in patients’ conditions.

In addition to this, hospital pharmacists reported the enormous costs in time diverted to sourcing alternative supplies, increased stress and confusion within safety critical working environments, the frequent high costs of procuring alternative medicines than those prescribed, and the cancellation of service improvements due to resources needing to be reallocated to deal with medicines shortages.

Launching the report at the Brussels Press Club, EAHP President Dr. Roberto Frontini said:

“Two things always shock me about the medicines shortages problem in Europe: its scale, and the known impacts it is having on patient safety and welfare.

For too long this problem has been brushed under the carpet. It is time for those with responsibility for protecting European citizens from cross-border health threats to address the issue.

We need improved systems for ensuring early reporting of medicines supply disruptions, with causes, likely duration and available alternatives notified to healthcare professionals. We need a step change in the recording of information about the problem. This could be addressed by the European Medicines Agency developing a database of medicines in shortage across Europe replicating that of its counterpart in the USA. We need criteria for a fair distribution in case of shortages based on patient’s needs and not on commercial interests. Finally, we need an urgent sense of responsibility to be adopted by the European Commission in leading both investigation and resolution of the problem.

As our report makes clear: medicines shortages are a cross border health threat to patient welfare and the time for EU action is now.”


This was originally posted on the EAHP website and can be found here.

EAHP joins calls for Juncker to keep pharma responsibilities health focused

19 Sep, 14 | by

On announcing the team of Commissioner designates he wanted to include in his Commission team for 2014-19, Juncker included a controversial proposal to shift the responsibilities for pharmaceutical regulation and medical devices away from the Directorate General for Health (DG SANCO), and to place these roles into the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR).

EAHP joined with European associations representing community pharmacists (PGEU), doctors (CPME, UEMS) and dozens of patient and consumer organisations in calling the proposals misguided and seeking reversal of the suggestion. The 28 organisations believe that the public health focus and imperative in relation to pharmaceutical regulation and oversight could be lost, with DG Enterprise’s prime responsibilities being to commercial interests rather than public health.

The campaign to reverse Juncker’s proposal is led by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA). More information here.

In the meantime, as previously reported in the EU Monitor, former Lithuanian Health Minister and surgeon Vytenis Andriukaitis is proposed to take the DG SANCO health portfolio. Meanwhile, former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Elzbieta Bienkowska is poised to take the DG Enterprise portfolio, with expanded responsibilities for pharmaceutical legislation and medical device regulation.

Dates for hearings between the designate Commissioners and the European Parliament have now been scheduled, with Mr Andriukaitis appearing before the Parliament’s Health Committee on 30th September and Ms Bienkowska meeting with the Industry and Internal Market Committees on 2nd October.

EAHP and partners will brief MEPs on key topics of health concern in advance of the hearings in order that relevant issues tot he European hospital pharmacy profession may be raised and highlighted.

This information was originally published on the EAHP website and can be found here

From Brussels to Beijing: EAHP China tour grows important relationship

11 Aug, 14 | by

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has recently completed a tour of China to promote practice developments in European hospital pharmacy and develop its relations with organisations in China.

EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini, Professor Anthony Sinclair of the EAHP Scientific Committee, and Professor Phil Wiffen, Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP) spent 6 days in July visiting hospitals across China, including Beijing and Shanghai. As well as sharing experiences in practice development from Europe, the EAHP trio also had an opportunity to learn from China’s experience in meeting the needs of patient care and patient safety in the hospital environment.

Dr Roberto Frontini, President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, said: “It was an honour to speak to professional colleagues in China about hospital pharmacy in Europe. The exchange is of great value to both parties, and grows an exciting relationship. EAHP regularly hosts delegations from China at our Congress, and it was personally illuminating to learn more about how common challenges such as patient safety are being met in another part of the world. Not only is it important that EAHP’s member countries share their good practices with one another, but EAHP also has a responsibility to facilitate broader international exchange on practice improvement. I look forward to welcoming colleagues from China to our Congress in Hamburg next year, and to renew our rich dialogue.”

Professor Anthony Sinclair of the EAHP Scientific Committee, said: “The EAHP Scientific Committee brings together hospital pharmacy practice leaders from across a wide range of European health systems with a shared mission of delivering excellence in education and patient care. It’s encouraging to know that the work of EAHP is recognised globally and that our work in Europe has application across the world. It was an honour to have been asked to participate on this tour representing EAHP, to share good practice, to learn from colleagues in China and have the opportunity to develop friendships that I hope will grow. It was exciting to share ideas across the globe! I was particularly impressed with our Chinese hospital colleagues’ clever application of technology and process design to manage large volumes of prescriptions.”

Professor Phil Wiffen, Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP) added: “Year on year the international reach of the EJHP grows, and colleagues in China are looking to  publish their research in  a leading pharmacy journal such as EJHP. As I reminded participants on our visit, the Journal always welcomes manuscripts from outside Europe – indeed, these are often of significant interest to our readers. A modern day Journal is designed to provide just that kind of outreach and international communication.”


This information was originally posted on the EAHP website and can be found here 

EAHP congress podcasts

9 Jul, 14 | by

The podcasts are finally up and ready to be heard in several different languages. Here’s a run down of who and what you can listen to and links through to the SoundCloud page.

1. Sotiris Antoniou, consultant pharmacist for cardiovascular medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, talks through the importance of anticoagulation, and how to consult patients. Listen here >>

2. Matthieu Tjoeng, head of pharmacy at Sint Antonius Ziekenhuis, Anne Spinewine, clinical pharmacist at UCL and CHU Dinant Godinne, and Steve Williams, associate editor of EJHP and honorary clinical lecturer at University Hospital of South Manchester, discuss re-engineering clinical pharmacy services. Listen here >>

3. Dr Juraj Sykora works at the National Cancer Institution, is an associate editor of EJHP and faculty member for EAHP. Here he discusses EAHP 2014, innovation and biosimilars. This podcast is in Slovak. Listen here >>

4. Dr Juraj Sykora, National Cancer Institution, associate editor of EJHP, and faculty member of EAHP, discusses the formation of a common training framework. Listen here >>

5. Piera Polidori lavora all’ISMETT ed è coredattrice di EJHP. In questo podcast descrive un nuovo progetto italiano in cui è coinvolta sul ruolo del farmacista clinico nella gestione degli antimicrobici. A seguito di un progetto del 2010 con il Ministero della Sanità, l’EAHP e la società italiana di oncologia, quest’anno la SIFO – Società Italiana di Farmacia Ospedaliera promuove il nuovo progetto a supporto dello sviluppo della farmacia clinica in Italia.

Simona Creazzola è farmacista presso l’ASL Napoli 1 Centro. È membro del Consiglio Direttivo della SIFO, la società italiana che rappresenta i farmacisti ospedalieri nel Sistema Sanitario Nazionale, e collabora alla redazione dell’EJHP. Simona ci è venuta a parlare del nuovo Laboratorio HTA della SIFO. Il Laboratorio HTA punta a raccogliere le esperienze passate nel campo HTA – Health Technology Assesment sui farmaci e dispositivi medici per costruire un’importante struttura per la divulgazione della cultura della valutazione sistematica tra gli associati attraverso gli strumenti corretti.  Ascolta qui >>

6. Duncan McRobbie, associate chief pharmacist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust Foundation, talks about un-intentional and intentional reasons for not taking or continuing a prescription. Listen here >>

7. Roberto Frontini, director of pharmacy, University of Leipzig, and president, EAHP, explains the focus of the EAHP European Summit on Hospital Pharmacy in May. He also talks about how pharmacists can work with and engage clinicians and other hospital staff. Listen here >>

8. Roberto Frontini, director of pharmacy, University of Leipzig, and president, EAHP, discusses the future of hospital pharmacy, and how the profession may look in 2020. Listen here >>

9. Cees Neef, professor of clinical pharmacy, Maastrict University Medical Centre, and director of education, Science and Research, EAHP, explains Good Practice Indicators. Listen here >>

10. Professor Daan Crommelin, past scientific director of the Dutch Top Institute Pharma in Leiden and emeritus professor, Department of Pharmacists, Utrecht University, discusses the Innovative Medicines Initiative, and developing innovation in pharmacy. Listen here >>



Apps involving medicines should have pharmacist oversight

9 Jul, 14 | by

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has responded to a consultation by the European Commission advising that any mHealth applications linked to the use of medicines must have levels of regulatory oversight, ideally involving pharmacist expertise, in order to ensure their safety.

The European Commission launched a consultation on mHealth in April 2014, asking healthcare professionals and patients for input on the health related applications of smartphone technology. One of EAHP’s key points was that the introduction of new technologies in the hospital setting has been an ever-present reality. Lessons learned include the need to understand the potential positive applications of a new technology at an early stage, and for Governments and health system managers to take a leadership role in achieving their realisation. This lesson, for example, is evident in the difficulties experienced in achieving bedside scanning as a patient safety measure within hospital systems – as medicines still do not typically contain a bar code to the single unit.

Another key point of EAHP’s response was to underline safety needs when applying mHealth to any process involving medicines.

Dr Roberto Frontini, President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, said:

“The implications of a badly designed mHealth application related to medicines use is frightening. All medicines can potentially cause harm if not taken properly. Therefore, when it comes to mHealth apps and medicines, a level of regulatory oversight is required. We recommend pharmacists be involved in both development and testing of such applications.  Indeed, the need for such pharmacist involvement in ICT processes involving medicines was a strong component of the recently published European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy, agreed with patient organisations and other healthcare professionals.

Beyond this, we urge the European Commission to learn lessons of experience. Technology can offer so much. However, without both vision to see potential positive applications, and subsequent coordination, too often the benefits are not realised. We see this, for example, with our ongoing campaign to achieve bedside scanning of medicines in hospitals. Barriers and obstacles have to be identified and lifted. There is an important coordinating role for the Commission in this regard.

Finally, we urge the Commission not to think about mHealth as only having cost-saving benefits. Improved patient safety and patient outcomes must be considered as just as important, if not more so.”


This information has been taken from the EAHP website, more information can be found here

Joan Peppard elected as next EAHP President

24 Jun, 14 | by

Joan Peppard has been elected as the next President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), commencing a 3 year term of office from June 2015. She will now serve one year as President Elect during the final 12 months of Dr Roberto Frontini’s Presidency of the Association.

The election took place at the General Assembly of the EAHP in Sofia. The General Assembly is the annual occasion at which the 34 member countries of EAHP meet in person to determine policy, elect the Board, scrutinise the activities of the Association and conduct other decision making activity.

Joan, a chief pharmacist in a hospital in the Irish midlands, currently serves on the EAHP Board as Director of Professional Development and has twice been the head of the Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ireland in the position of President. Prior to joining the EAHP Board Joan was for many years one of the lead delegates for Ireland within the EAHP annual General Assembly, and played an active role in the conduct of EAHP educational and research activities at the national level.

Speaking after her election, Joan Peppard, President-Elect of EAHP said: “It is with a sense of great humility that I begin to take on the primary leadership role of the EAHP, knowing that under the stewardship of predecessors a real momentum of energy and experience has been established to make EAHP the driver for hospital pharmacy practice improvement across Europe that it is today. With the new European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy recently agreed between the profession, patients and other healthcare professionals, the number one challenge for the forthcoming EAHP Board is evident – how to turn that clear vision for the future of the profession into a reality in every European country. Working with my colleagues on the Board, the secretariat and our dedicated membership, I know we have the commitment, insight and enthusiasm to achieve it. I again thank members for the confidence they have placed in me and look forward to working with them in delivering our shared aspirations for the profession we all love.”

Dr Roberto Frontini, President of EAHP added: “Knowing very well Joan’s professional background, and her proven ability to make change happen on the ground, even in the most difficult practice environments, I am completely assured EAHP will continue to go from strength to strength in the achievement of its mission under her leadership. I’m therefore looking forward to assisting in the handover period, and introducing her personally to the many partner, friend and allied organisations we work with in ensuring the continuous improvement of all that the hospital pharmacist does across our member countries.”


More information can be found on the EAHP website here

Commission seek views on future of mHealth

20 May, 14 | by

The European Commission is appealing to stakeholders to respond to a public consultation on their Green Paper on mobile health. They especially seek comment on the barriers that are preventing the full potential of mobile health from being unlocked. The deadline for responses is 3 July 2014.

Topics of consultation include:

  • What specific security safeguards in mHealth solutions could help prevent unnecessary and unauthorized processing of health data?
  • What measures are needed to fully realize the potential of mHealth generated ‘Big Data’ in the EU while complying with legal and ethical requirements?
  • What good practice exists to better inform end-users about the quality and safety of mHealth solutions e.g. certifications schemes?
  • The potential contribution of mHealth in constraining and curbing healthcare costs in the EU

EAHP member associations will discuss potential policy in the area of mHealth at its General Assembly in Sofia in June, and make a response reflecting the agreed points from members at that meeting.

This information was originally published on the EAHP website. More detail can be found here 

Latest from European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy

Latest from European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy