EAHP EU Monitor - 4 May 2017

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

You can subscribe to receive the EAHP EU Monitor by email HERE.  



EAHP endorses GS1 position paper on the identification of the primary package level of drugs

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) recently endorsed a position paper of GS1 Healthcare on the identification of the primary package level of drugs. The paper lays down good practice recommendations that would enhance patient safety in the medication administration processes in hospitals, nursing homes, or at patient's home for chronic diseases. It advocates for the identification of primary packages through barcodes containing information on the General Trade Item Number (GTIN) as well as optionally the expiry date and/or batch data.

The position paper of GS1 takes up EAHP's views contained in the statement on the need for barcoding of the single dose administered in hospitals. For the primary purpose of reducing medication errors and protecting patient safety, EAHP's statement calls for each single dose of medicine used within hospitals and supplied to the hospital by manufacturers or wholesalers to include an individual barcode in GS1 datamatrix format.

The GS1 Healthcare position paper is available HERE



New figures on antibiotic consumption in eastern Europe

Earlier this week the WHO Europe Region released a report containing data on antimicrobial medicines consumption collected from 11 non-European Union countries in the WHO European Region and Kosovo. The data has been gathered through the WHO Antimicrobial Medicines Consumption (AMC) Network which was set up in 2011 with the aim of assisting non-European Union Member States in establishing or strengthening national surveillance. Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan, as well as Kosovo, are currently engaged in the AMC Network.

The report provides insight into the types of antibiotics used within the category of antibacterials for systemic use. Beta-lactam antibiotics have been identified as the most commonly consumed subgroup of antibacterials. It also shows that the second-line antibiotics cephalosporins and quinolones are consumed in high volumes by some of the surveyed countries. Countries also reported high levels of consumption of injectable formulations of antimicrobials.

The data gathered within the report indicates that antibiotic consumption varies greatly across the surveyed countries. The reasons for such variability could not be determined fully. Further investigation is necessary, which also offers opportunities to develop interventions to promote more responsible use of antimicrobials in the surveyed countries.

The report feeds into the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by WHO Member States in 2015 as well as into the European strategic action plan on antibiotic resistance which identified monitoring the use of medicines as a priority activity for WHO/Europe.

The report is available HERE 



Potential for eHealth to increase vaccination coverage

The European Immunisation Week, which took place from 24th to 30th April, was the perfect opportunity for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to release its report on immunisation information systems in the EU and EEA.

The report provides information on the status of immunisation information systems (IIS) in the EU/EEA countries and describes the functionalities of these systems. Its promotion fitted with the objective of the European Immunisation Week to increase awareness of the importance of immunisation. The publication is particularly important for those countries that have not yet set up systems, that are in the early stages of implementation or are updating their systems.

The report summarises the results of 2 surveys that ECDC conducted on IIS in the EU/EEA countries. The research focuses on the one hand on countries with an established IIS and on the other hand targeted countries in an earlier stage of IIS implementation. 14 surveyed countries reported that they have a national system in place that digitally records information about vaccination, while in 7 others innovative systems are currently being piloted.

Many of the IIS currently in operation or being set up include the possibility to record whole-of-life vaccination data, with a small number being able to print the personal immunisation history of an individual. Automated reminders are also used by 5 IIS. These systems are capable of producing lists that identify under vaccinated populations, determine which vaccines are due or overdue, and generate reminders for providers and vaccine recipients.

The importance of digital immunisation records is also recognised by the 2014 EU Council Conclusions on vaccination as an effective tool in public health and further endorsed by the World Health Organisation's European Vaccines Action Plan.

Overall, the report shows that strong information systems are an integral part of the well-functioning vaccination programme that offer individuals the possibility to stay up-to-date with their immunisations throughout their lives and removes uncertainties over vaccination statuses.

The report is available HERE



EJHP: May edition now published!

May's edition of the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy includes an editorial on deprescribing in polypharmacy as well as original articles on: the incorrect storage of medicines; and the inspectorate surveillance of preparing and distributing pharmacies in the Netherlands.

The edition also contains a systematic review of incorrect aseptic techniques in medicine preparation and recommendations for safer practices.





Upcoming events

05 May – DG GROW Stakeholder Event on Biosimilars

For the third year in a row, the European Commission will organise a multi-stakeholder workshop on biosimilar medicines. The new information guide for healthcare professionals on biosimilar medicines will be launched during the meeting.

EAHP attendees: Frank Jørgensen and Stephanie Kohl


16 May – First year of operation of the 'European Professional Card' (EPC) and the 'Alert Mechanism'

The workshop will provide the opportunity to reflect on and to discuss first results of the survey launched by the Commission to gather views on first experiences with both initiatives. The EPC is currently available to general care nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, real estate agents and mountain guides.

EAHP attendee: Stephanie Kohl


17 May to 19 May – EAFP Conference: Multidisciplinary learning in pharmacy education

The theme of the Annual meeting in 2017 is "Interdisciplinary Pharmacy Education". Sessions of scientific and educational plenary lectures and oral communications include: Patient-Centered Pharmacy Education, Pharmaceutical Sciences Oriented Education, Teaching Methodology and Programme Design, and Hands-On Interactive Learning.

EAHP attendee: Joan Peppard