Pharmacy Information Section Annual Report 2010-11

Serving 300 members from over 80 countries, the FIP Pharmacy Information Section aims to promote networking between pharmacists who provide information services and to promote the key role of medicines information in supporting clinical practice and enhancing public health.

The Section organises a wide range of programming at the FIP Congress each year and, through the use of a network of thematic working groups, develops and promotes new initiatives relating to medicines and health information.

Members are kept in close contact with the Section's activities through a member's only email list, the members' only section on the FIP website and the Section's popular quarterly newsletter, Info-Link. During the annual FIP Congress, the Section provides a range of networking opportunities including varied section programming, a poster session, a formal dinner and a well attended business meeting where members can provide their views on our strategic direction. In 2010, the Section financially supported a young pharmacist from Colombia to attend the Congress in Istanbul through an annual stipend programme which has been running for several years.

A key success for the Section in the past year was the organisation of a successful pre-Congress seminar in Lisbon entitled "Resources to Support Medicines Information Services". This is being followed up with an event before the 2011 Congress in Hyderabad under the theme: "Pharmacovigilance and Medicines Information to Enhance Patient Safety". This seminar will focus on how pharmacists in the region can improve patient care and safety.

Other achievements during the year include the completion of an international survey of medicines information centres which was designed to assess the current scope of practice in centres which specialize in providing medicines information. The results were presented during the 2010 Congress in Lisbon. At the request of members, the section also compiled and published a list of open access sources of medicines information. This list can be downloaded from the Pharmacy Information Section area on the FIP Website.

In May 2010, the section was represented at an advisory board meeting for the World Economic Forum Global Health Data Charter project. This is an ambitious project designed to advance global health through improved data collection and management. The Charter was launched in early 2011 and has been endorsed by FIP.