EAHP EU Monitor 31 August 2012

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

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EAHP and EFPIA to work together on the future of medicines bar coding to the single unit

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and European Federation of Pharmaceutical and Industry Associations (EFPIA) have recently agreed to work towards a joint vision on the future of medicines bar coding to the single unit administered in hospitals.

This is a long held policy goal of hospital pharmacists because of the strong evidence base for its role in reducing medication errors at the point of administration to the patient. The technology enables healthcare professionals to electronically verify that both the correct medication and the correct dose are being given to the correct patient at the bedside.

The two organisations have been exchanging information in relation to:
• the country-by-country practice of bed side scanning in European hospitals;
• the regulatory and non-regulatory solutions to the problem; and
• the opportunity for the future pan-European system of medicines identification to facilitate EAHP’s single unit bar code request.

EFPIA recognise the potential for patient safety improvement that could be made by using medicines bar coding in this way, and have expressed their willingness to cooperate with hospital pharmacists in exploring ways to achieve systematic single unit bar coding.
Both organisations have resolved to continue communicating with each other about the issue, to share relevant information on an on-going basis, and to work towards a joint vision for the future of bar coding to the single unit level.

EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini said:

“I am pleased that the European Federation of Pharmaceutical and Industry Associations are listening openly to EAHP’s request for systematic bar coding of medicines to the single dose administered in hospitals and are working with us to find the right solutions.
Challenges remain and we should not expect immediate results. However there is now constructive dialogue between hospital pharmacy and industry to develop a joint vision and understanding about single unit bar coding. This is a useful step towards allowing hospitals in Europe to put in place the best systems for safe medication administration.”

Richard Bergström, EFPIA Director General said: 

"The implementation of the Falsified Medicines Directive is a real challenge and EFPIA wants to work with all stakeholders to set up a cost-effective product verification system to the benefit of all EU patients
We are pleased that the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists is assisting in the development of the European Stakeholder Model by sharing their professional perspective. The ESM offers many opportunities including increased patient safety in hospital care. EFPIA is ready to address issues relating to barcodes on primary packagings within the context of harmonising serial barcodes on secondary packagings in Europe over the coming years.”

More information here.



Views of Hospital Pharmacists sought on syringe recapping

EAHP has been asked to contribute the opinion of hospital pharmacists on a European regulation on syringe recapping and therefore seeks the responses of hospitals pharmacists to a short questionnaire.

The issue is on the agenda for the social dialogue meeting between European health service employers and trade unions in September.

Council Directive 2010/32/EU on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector, whilst commendable on insisting the need for risk assessment and approved  safe-handling procedures to prevent injuries in hospitals, included under Clause 6 of its Annex the statement “the practice of recapping [syringes] shall be banned with immediate effect.”

The provisional view of the EAHP is that such a ban, if implemented in full, is not proportionate to the risk presented in all circumstances. Instead, decisions in relation to recapping syringes should be left to professional discretion on the basis of risk assessment.

However EAHP would like to test if this view is consistent with the views of its members. EAHP would therefore be grateful if hospital pharmacists could 5 minutes to complete the below short 5 question survey.

Hospital pharmacists are also welcome to share this questionnaire with their colleagues: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NY8MKD9
Responses are requested by Friday 14 September if possible, but may be accepted after this date.

EAHP accepted as eligible organisation to input to European Medicines Agency activity and working parties

EAHP has recently received notification that it has been successfully assessed as one of 12 European healthcare professional organisations eligible to give formal input to the work of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
To be involved in EMA’s scientific committees, working parties and review of EMA documents, healthcare professional organisations must fulfil criteria, including:
• Being a not for profit organisation with an interest in patient care;
• Having a clearly defined mission and objectives that can be published on the EMA website; and,
• Healthcare professionals must represent the majority of members on the governing board.

EAHP is committed to engagement with EMA in order to ensure the perspectives of hospital pharmacists on such issues as
• medicines information requirements,
• the usability of EMA databases (e.g EudraVigilance and the EU Clinical Trials Register),
• pan-European pharmacovigilance communication and activity, and
• EMA medicines strategies
are well understood by the Agency and other stakeholders.

EAHP will next represent hospital pharmacists at EMA’s joint meeting with patient and consumer organisations and healthcare professional organisations on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th September.

More information here


EJHP: A strategy for clinical pharmacy development

An article was published on the EJHP website this week on the development of clinical pharmacy in a large Teaching Hospital in Southampton, England.
Author Mark Tomlin describes both the development and implementation of the clinical pharmacy strategy. The article also examines how the results of surveys of activities reveal the development of the hospital pharmacist’s clinical role, especially in managing the risks of medicines use.
More information available here.