Thursday, July 05, 2012

EAHP General Assembly sees integration of Iceland

The EAHP (European Association of Hospital Pharmacists) held its annual general assembly in Budapest, Hungary from 15 to 16 June 2012. 58 representatives from 29 member countries of the EAHP gathered to discuss relevant issues related to the further development of hospital pharmacy in Europe.

EAHP Board Members and delegates from represented member countries shared points of view and perspectives about the current challenges for healthcare systems in Europe and gave valuable input to a wide variety of EAHP projects, ambitions and core activities.

Highlights of the general assembly (GA) included the integration of a new country - Iceland. Eva Agustsdottir and Thorunn Godnumndsdottir, representatives of Hospital Pharmacy Section of the Pharmaceutical Society of Iceland, gave the GA a brief overview of the history and current status of the profession in their country. The GA was delighted to unanimously accept their application for membership. Iceland is now the 32nd member country of EAHP.

Elections were held at the GA for key positions within the EAHP board. The Assembly said a fond and grateful farewell to long-serving Board Members Elfriede Dolinar (Austria) and Prof. Dr. Vagn Handios (Denmark). Education, Science and Research, respectively. Re-elected President Dr Roberto Frontini thanked them warmly for their significant contributions to the work of the Association. Mrs. Tajda Miharija Gala (Slovenia) was elected as the new Vice-President and Prof Dr Cees Neef (The Netherlands) as the new Director of Education, Science and Research. The Assembly also elected to the Board for the first time Dr Petr Horak from the Czech Republic, and Joan Pappard from the Republic of Ireland. The new Board Members will share the title of Director of Professional Development.

The Annual GA also took the opportunity to redefine the EAHP's mission and goals. To be efficient, one must adapt to the times and on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the EAHP Board reviewed and considered the ongoing mission of the Association. The Board proposed to the Assembly some redefinitions which were ratified by the GA with some amendments. The new mission clarifies EAHP's representative function, as well as emphasizing the Association's overall patient-centred focus. The new goals make explicit the EAHP's objective of hospital pharmacy specialisation.

The EAHP Mission 

EAHP represents and develops the hospital pharmacy profession within Europe in order to ensure the continuous improvement of care and outcomes for patients in the hospital setting. This is achieved through science, research, education, practice, as well as sharing best-practice and responsibility with other healthcare professionals.

EAHP Goals 

1. To develop hospital pharmacy in order to promote the best and safest use of medicines and medical devices for the benefit of patients in Europe

2. To create a platform for the education and training of hospital pharmacists to a level of specialisation and maintain continusing professional development (CPD)
3. To uphold the interests and advance the position of European hospital pharmacists within the healthcare systems, the EU and national authorities

The future of EAHP educational activities 

The GA approved a number of reforms to the provision of EAHP educational activities. The BEAM summits, which were held between 2009 and 2012, will be discontinued in their present format. The Academy Seminar series will be maintained, but with a wider target audience. The Assembly requested the Board conduct more research into the potential, feasibility and desirability of creating the pan-European Hospital Pharmacy Masters courses. Their findings will be reported to the 2013 General Assembly, which will take place in Athens, Greece.

Final results of the 2010 EAHP Survey of hospital pharmacy practice in Europe

Mrs Tajda Miharija Gala presented to the Assembly the final results of the EAHP 2010 Survey. This will be officially released and presented to the public through the EAHP website. The survey will reveal how hospital pharmacy is practiced in different European countries and show the trend of development in the services provided across Europe.

Policy Matters 

On political matters, delegates reviewed and discussed statements proposed by the Board in a number of areas including medicines bar coding, clinical trials and medicines shortages. Delegates made useful recommendations for amendments and additions. Final statements will be published on the EAHP website over the Summer period.