Fionnuala Kennedy, Head of Pharmacy at the Mater Private Hospital and President of the Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ireland reflects on learnings from the EAHP 2017 Congress. The 22nd Congress of the European Hospital Pharmacists’ Association (EAHP) took place in Cannes, France from 21st – 24th March 2017. The EAHP represents more than 19,000 hospital pharmacists in 35 European countries and is the only association of national organisations representing hospital pharmacists at European and international levels. The 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. The conference was very well attended by hospital pharmacists from all over Europe, and is the biggest annual gathering of hospital pharmacists in Europe. The congress consisted of several strands: • Keynote addresses • Seminars • Workshops • Poster exhibitions and competition • Satellite symposia The first keynote, “New medicines ant any cost?” was given by
Dr Suzanne Hill, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, WHO. The address explored the conflict between the use of new, high cost medicines, and their value within a fixed healthcare budget. Dr Hill presented data on the cost of bringing a new drug to market and the escalation of the entry price for new molecules in the context of increasing world-wide expenditure on pharmaceuticals. She focussed on Oncology, Multiple Sclerosis and Hepatitis C. Dr Hill also discussed the product development cycle and addressed shortages of essential medicines. The second keynote, “Big data: hype or help?” was presented by Prof Heyo K Kromer. Dean of Medicines, Gottingen University. Prof Kromer spoke of the explosion in health data available and explored its impact on healthcare. He discussed the drivers for medicines data, including analytical technology, world demographics changes and innovation. Big data in healthcare
presents us with opportunities; however use of big data must be responsible, and processes which fulfil this require definition. Ms Joan Peppard, Chief Pharmacist at MRH, Tullamore and President of the EAHP, gave a presentation entitled “Introducing the Common Training Framework”. The framework will support the raising of standards in hospital pharmacy practice and thereby enhance the quality of, safety of, and equity of access to, patient care in every European country. It will provide a key tool for all countries in delivering the vision of the 44 European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy, agreed in 2014. See http://statements. eahp.eu/. Seminars discussed a wide range of subjects: pharmacy automation, the upcoming implementation of the EU falsified medicines directive, leadership in hospital pharmacy, medicines in the elderly, accreditation , new roles for hospital pharmacists,
pharmaceutical care in the ambulatory setting, heath technology assessment, the use of patients’ own drugs, and performance management. Workshops provided hands-on experience in de-prescribing, business plan development, antimicrobial stewardship, quality management, research and research publication. There was a focus on bio-similars throughout the congress, in particular in the symposia. The poster walk comprised 602 posters, of which 9 were from Ireland. The Mater Misercordiae University Hospital was particularly well-represented. The industry exhibition space provided an opportunity for hospital pharmacists to see the latest in compounding robots and cabinets, as well as pharmacy robots, dispensing robots and automated dispensing cabinets. The 2018 congress will take place in Sweden in March next year.