Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Abstract Submission Open for ESCP 6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

We received this email from the ESCP International Office.

6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

Join clinical pharmacists from all over Europe (including the new EU countries) to deepen the theme of the ESCP's 6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy:

Chronic Disease Management: The Role of the Pharmacist

25-27 May 2006, Vilnius, Lithuania

Interact and share knowledge with your peers during 3 days of plenary sessions, round-table discussions, workshops and afternoon plenary lectures on:

  • The Role of the Pharmacist in the Management of Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Current Chronic Diseases Management Concepts

  • The Role of the Pharmacist in the Management of Chronic Infectious Diseases

A number of critical issues will be developed and discussed. For example, what is the current concept for chronic disease management? Will pharmacists play an active role in the management of chronic cardiovascular diseases or chronic pain in oncology? What rational pharmacotherapy evaluation systems are available and what is the strategy for pharmacotherapeutic-based treatments? How can the pharmacist’s clinical competence be developed? What are today’s practices/experiences in the evaluation (assurance) of rationality in pharmacotherapy? Are there legal differences governing the clinical activity of pharmacists in the EU and other European countries?

Abstract Submission

Do you have findings and expertise to share with your peers? Submit an abstract for consideration within the Poster Discussion Forum, Oral Communications or Poster Sessions.

Abstracts must be submitted on-line by 30 January 2006.

For detailed information about the scientific programme, abstract submission and registration process, please visit the ESCP 6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy website.

We look forward to receiving your abstract before 30 January 2006. Please also feel free to invite a colleague to share his/her expertise by forwarding this e-mail.

Yours sincerely

Eduardas Tarasevicius
President of the Conference

Romaldas Maciulaitis
Chair of the Scientific Committee

For more information on abstract submission process please contact:

Eralda Azizaj
Progamme Co-ordinator
ESCP International Office
Avenue de Tervueren 300
B-1150 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32-2-743 1542

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New deadline (1st March 2006 ) for the EAHP survey

The EAHP (European Association of Hospital Pharmacists) board decided to give hospital pharmacy directors several months more to fill in the questionnaire, and extend the deadline up to the:

1st March 2006.

The results will be presented during the 2006 GA in Bratislava.

For more details please contact your country delegates.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

UK doctors protest at extension to nurses' and pharmacists' prescribing powers

BMJ 2005;331:1159 (19 November), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7526.1159
Michael Day (

According to this article Doctors' leaders have condemned the UK government's decision to give nurses and pharmacists virtually unlimited prescribing powers.

James Johnson, the BMA's chairman, has called for an urgent meeting with the secretary of state for health, Patricia Hewitt, to discuss the proposals, which took the BMA by surprise when they were announced last week. "It is difficult to see how healthcare professionals who are not trained to diagnose disease can safely prescribe appropriate treatment," he said.

Mrs Hewitt told the chief nursing officers' annual conference in London last week that from spring 2006 qualified "extended formulary nurse prescribers" and "independent pharmacist prescribers" would be able to prescribe any licensed drug for any medical condition, with the exception of controlled drugs, such as diamorphine.

There are now over 6,100 extended formulary nurse prescribers who are qualified to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribers' Extended Formulary, which was introduced in April 2002 and which contains around 240 prescription only medicines. The "independent pharmacist prescriber" will be a new position.

For the full article or for more info you can follow the links:
BMJ 2005;331:1159 (19 November), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7526.1159

BMJ 2005;331:1154-1155 (19 November), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7526.1154
Editorial: Extended prescribing by UK nurses and pharmacists

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Antibiotic-free hospitals

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The growing problem of drug-resistant staph infections in hospitals needs a fresh approach -- including antibiotic-free hospitals and perhaps a dose of "good" bacteria on surgeons' hands, one researcher argues.

Writing in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Dr. Mark Spigelman lays out a proposal for combating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This so-called "superbug" is untreatable with most antibiotics and can cause potentially deadly complications like pneumonia, bloodstream infections and surgical wound infections.

Though MRSA outbreaks have been turning up in the general population in recent years, hospitals and nursing homes remain the bug's prime breeding ground, with patients with weakened immune systems being most vulnerable.

Given this, it's time to take another look at why MRSA thrives in such antiseptic places, according to Spigelman, of the University College London.

The question to be asked, he told Reuters Health, is why MRSA infections are widespread only in hospitals.

The answer, according to Spigelman, may be found in the very practices that hospitals use to combat bacterial infection: hand scrubbing and antibiotics.

It's known that overuse and improper use of antibiotics are the main reasons that staph and other bacteria have developed resistance to the many of the drugs; when disease-causing bacteria are exposed to, but not killed by, antibiotics, they can mutate in ways that render the drugs ineffective. And while other bacteria, good and bad, are killed off by antibiotics, resistant strains are free to thrive.

Designating certain surgical hospitals as "antibiotic-free" would cut patients' risk of developing MRSA after an operation, Spigelman argues. Patients who do develop a wound infection would have to be transferred to a hospital where antibiotics are used.

In addition, surgeons and staff working in antibiotic-free centers could not enter antibiotic-using hospitals, in order to prevent them from picking up MRSA.

The other part of Spigelman's proposal focuses on how surgeons' hands, and even patients' wounds, are cleaned. Similar to what happens with antibiotics, washing away the many harmless or "good" bacteria on the skin may "allow room" for MRSA and other resistant bugs to settle, Spigelman points out.

That doesn't mean it's time to scrap hand-washing, he said. Instead, he argues, studies could look into the usefulness of solutions containing beneficial bacteria, called probiotics. These bugs include the bacteria used in fermented foods like yogurt.
Bacteria, Spigelman points out, generally don't lie down on top of each other, but settle in isolated colonies. So slathering a probiotic solution on clean skin could set up a healthy population of good bacteria that would crowd out any harmful bugs that would have taken residence.

Whether surgeons will start dipping their hands in yogurt remains to be seen. But, Spigelman notes in his article, dental researchers are already looking into whether probiotics can save people's teeth by displacing the bacteria that cause cavities.

SOURCE: Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, November 2005.
By Amy Norton, © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved