FIP and the World Health Organization (WHO)

Pharmacists play a vital role in promoting health and shaping global health, providing a crucial link between the local/grass roots level and national and international policy level. As the global Federation representing the world's pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, FIP is in the unique position to be able to advocate for greater responsibility and accountability of health professions, particularly pharmacists, to promote good health and well being of their citizens while also building community capacity to address the social determinants of health and common behavioural risk factors for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. Coordinated action and advocacy is necessary on both levels to decrease the health equity gap.

As such, FIP has made considerable strides in its partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) in order expand initiatives that evolve these goals. 

Activity and Involvement 2011-2012

Interactions / meetings with WHO governing bodies:

May 2011 -  During the 64th World Health Assembly 2011, FIP contributed statements on the following items:

  • SSFFC (Counterfeit) medicines (joint statement given on behalf of the World Health Professions Alliance)
  • Rational Use of Medicines (joint statement given on behalf of the World Health Professions Alliance)

September 2011 - FIP was present at a United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and control in New York (organised to shape the international agenda on the issue of NCDs) and gave a statement on behalf of itself and allied healthcare professionals, commenting on their recent campaign to enable healthcare professionals to take a pro-active role in pre-screening patients for risk factors.

January 2012 - FIP was present and gave a Statement at a meeting examining WHO's involvement in the fight against counterfeit / falsified medicines; a meeting which resulted in the development of a member-state driven process to deal with WHO involvement in the fight against counterfeit / falsified medicines.

Technical work with WHO

FIP/WHO joint documents:

  • Joint FIP/WHO Joint Guidelines on Good Pharmacy Practice - Standards for Quality Services were officially adopted by FIP at the 2011 Congress in Hyderabad. The document was approved by WHO Expert committee on Specifications for Pharmaceutical Preparations on October 2010. [LINK].  In addition, the FIP/WHO Joint Statement on the role of Pharmacists in Tuberculosis Care and Control was also signed in Hyderabad [LINK]
  • The WHO Expert Committee on Specifications for Pharmaceutical Preparations is in charge of evaluating a large number of guidelines relating to quality assurance and if found suitable adopted as international standards.

As every year, FIP is part of the recipients of these draft guidelines, and with the support of the sections and the SIGs, share its comments with WHO. The full list of reviewed documents are available in the full FIP-WHO report on the FIP website.

Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide

In October 2011, WHO released the Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide. This guide aims to assist universities and schools in the fields of pharmacy (and other health sciences) to teach patient safety. It also supports the training of all health-care professionals on a number of priority patient safety concepts to improve learning about patient safety.

FIP contributes to this guide through extensive review. As recognition of this involvement, FIP was offered the opportunity to have a foreword in the guide.

Pharmacy Schools, Workforce Report, Health Education

FIP has been collaborating with WHO HRH on this initiative since 2008. In 2011 the contacts for the World List of Pharmacy Schools increased from 900 to over 1800 schools through the support of students/interns and key country contacts. In 2011 the Survey developed between FIP and WHO was sent to all schools of pharmacy and data collection is ongoing through the WHO online DataCol system.

 FIP and the WHO EMP (WHO Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies) team have been collaborating on updating the Global Pharmacy Workforce Report for 2012. The final report will be available for the FIP Centennial in web and CD format and a WHO-FIP lunchtime session will be planned to present the work undertaken and celebrate the successes countries have made in strengthening the pharmacy workforce.

The WHO Guidelines on transforming and scaling up health professionals education will be published in September 2012. The WHO HRH team working on these guidelines is interested in sharing the findings of this work in the Global Pharmacy Workforce Report as well as during the FIP congress.

WHO Guidelines on Natural Products

Further to the participation of Dr Ito at the WHO consultation on conservation of medicinal plants held in Toyama, Japan on October 2011, FIP was offered the opportunity to be one of the co-authors of the revised version of the "Guidelines on the Conservation of Medicinal Pants" together with WHO, IUCN, WWF, and TRAFFIC.  These Guidelines will be published soon.

Additional Meetings

On World Health Day 2011, FIP was invited by Dr Hiroki Nakatani (Assistant Director-General - HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease) to address the WHO High Level Panel on Anti-microbial resistance to affirm the commitment of the pharmacy profession and FIP to improve use of medicines and antibiotics through the work of pharmacists globally.

FIP was represented at the Third Partners' Meeting on Better Medicines for Children (November 2011). This initiative was developed further to a WHA resolution adopted in 2007. It aims to promote the development and access to medicines suitable for children.

During this meeting, FIP presented its Reference Paper on the effective utilization of pharmacists in improving maternal, newborn and child health (adopted in Hyderabad, 2011), with a focus on child health.

WHO and FIP Centennial

WHO has suggested to link the next meeting of the Expert Committee on Specifications for Pharmaceutical Preparations to the FIP Centennial.

There will be two joint open sessions with WHO at the FIP Centennial:

  • On the Global Pharmacy Workforce Report 2012
  • Additional Session to be determined with WHO