EAHP EU Monitor 12 October 2012

The EAHP EU Monitor is a weekly round up of news relevant to hospital pharmacy in Europe.

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EAHP President signs FIP Centennial Declaration


EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini joined counterpart heads of international pharmacist associations in signing a new declaration on the role of pharmacists in achieving responsible medicines use across the globe.

The Declaration was a highlight of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Congress in Amsterdam last week, setting out in its key opening section that: “Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical scientists accept responsibility and accountability for improving global health and patient health outcomes by closing gaps in the development, distribution, and responsible use of medicines. Society can contribute to these objectives by supporting the advancement of pharmacy practice and the pharmaceutical sciences.”

In the statement’s section on Responsible Use of Medicines, statistics are quoted that in many countries up to half of all prescriptions are either unnecessary or incorrect, and in about half of cases patients do not take their medicines as prescribed. The active participation of pharmacists in patient care has a clear role in improving this situation, including educating patients, caregivers and health professionals on the responsible use of medicines and medicine-related devices.

EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini said: “On behalf of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists I am delighted to add my signature to this important declaration. As we move into an era of constrained public finance in Europe, achieving responsible use of medicines can no longer be viewed by policy-makers as an option, but rather it should be seen as a “must”.

Hospital pharmacists across Europe are the secondary care sector’s in-house medicines experts and are ready to play their part in improving patient adherence to medication regimens through patient counselling and medication reviews. However, we do need support from system designers to ensure this role advancement can take place. I trust the seriousness of the current times will mean this can now happen.”

See FIP Centennial Statement here: http://www.fip.org/www/uploads/database_file.php?id=339&table_id=

Also at the FIP Centennial Congress, EAHP signed a formal statement of collaboration (pictured) with Europharm Forum to conduct a project exploring the challenges of achieving integrated care between hospital and community health systems in Europe. It is hoped to launch some results of this project at the next EAHP Congress in Paris in March 2013. More information about the Congress here: http://www.eahp.eu/congresses/



Commissioner Dalli gives speech on health in an age of austerity


Speaking at the European Health Forum in Gastein last week, the European Commissioner for Health, John Dalli, set out his views on the need for innovation and efficiency in health systems across Europe in order to effectively meet the austerity challenge.

Warning his audience that the European health sector can not be immune to the effects of constraint in public finance, he acknowledged this would lead to particular impacts at a time when demand for health services will rise with the ageing European population.

His suggested solutions included:

• Focusing on cutting known inefficiencies;
• European and cross-border cooperations in health to achieve larger economies of scale and greater sustainability;
• Implementing electronic patient records and prescription systems;
• Increased Health Technology Assessment co-operation between countries;
• Using EU Structural Funds to assist certain health purposes, including:
  • investments in eHealth and health technology;
  • supporting health education and prevention campaigns; and,
  • training health professionals.

His speech also called for Governments to recognise the role that good health systems can play as a key economic contributor and an asset to workforce productivity.

Speech here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-12-692_en.htm?locale=en


Responsible Medicines use can save $500bn a year globally, a report suggests


A report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics suggests half a trillion dollars a year in global health spending can be saved if health system stakeholders use medicines more responsibly and align their capabilities, resources and activities more strongly.

The IMS Institute report highlights six specific levers of opportunity to improve the use of medicines, namely:
1. increasing patient adherence;
2. ensuring timely medicine use;
3. optimising antibiotic use;
4. preventing medication errors;
5. using low-cost generics where available; and
6. managing polypharmacy.

The report considers that improvements in patient adherence make up more than half - $269 billion - of the $500 billion annual opportunity.

The report includes five recommendations for health ministers and other health system leaders to implement in order to drive improvements. These are:

1. support a greater role for pharmacists in medicines management;
2. invest in medical audits that focus on elderly patients;
3. implement mandatory reporting of antibiotic use;
4. encourage a 'no blame' culture toward error reporting; and
5. support targeted disease management programmes for prevalent, noncommunicable diseases.

More information here


EJHP: the Danish approach to responsible medicines use


Published this week on the online first section of the EJHP website is a report from Denmark on the approach taken in that country to the responsible use of medicines in hospitals.

Initiatives undertaken in this area include:
• the implementation of treatment standards;
• the development of coordinated lists of recommended drugs between hospitals and general practitioners (GPs);
• shared registration of the patient's actual drug treatment between hospitals and GPs; and,
• the use of a Council for the Use of Expensive Hospital Medicines (RADS) to establish common clinical treatment guidelines for the use of expensive medications.

The full article is available here: http://ejhp.bmj.com/content/early/2012/10/11/ejhpharm-2012-000227.full