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Growth in provision of essential health services by pharmacy must accelerate further, says FIP president

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Seville • 18 September 2022

We now have good evidence to share, reflect on and use to transform pharmacy globally, so that the pharmacy profession is fully equipped to contribute to present and future challenges facing health systems. So said Prof. Ashok Soni, vice president of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), today.

Prof. Soni delivered part of the presidential address on behalf of FIP President Mr Dominique Jordan at the opening of FIP’s 80th World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Seville, Spain.

Mr Jordan said that the global health emergency of COVID-19 has proved that “pharmacists and pharmacies are integral to a well-functioning healthcare system” and that the profession has advanced at an “unprecedented rate”, expanding its scope of activities to provide more services. For example, according to FIP data as of August 2022, pharmacy-based vaccination is now available in at least 40 countries and territories — 20 more than in 2016.

Mr Soni said that as the global leader of pharmacy, FIP has continued to advocate the expansion of vaccination by pharmacists as part of its strategy to advance the profession, before going on to outline other strategic actions FIP has taken during the pandemic, including:

  • Implementing a new membership engagement programme delivered through a variety of events designed to identify the priorities of nations and regions in the years ahead to 2030;
  • Continuing to develop the FIP Global Pharmaceutical Observatory as the most comprehensive and respected source of pharmacy data and intelligence;
  • Leading the profession with a wide range of resources to facilitate role and service expansion, including standards, FIP tools and FIP-approved training through the FIP Provision and Partnerships Programme and the awarding of the FIP Seal;
  • Addressing issues of sustainability through SustainabilityRx, a new programme covering disasters and pandemics, environmental and planetary health, and services;
  • Tackling inequity and inequality, both within the pharmacy workforce and in healthcare access, through FIP’s EquityRx programme; and
  • Building on the principles of the Astana Declaration on Primary Health through three key areas of work — non-communicable diseases, prevention and patient safety.

On primary health care, Prof. Soni added that FIP plans to host a health ministers summit in 2023 at which evidence of impact and change in the three key areas of work across all six World Health Organization regions and delivery based on FIP’s commitment to the Astana Declaration will be demonstrated. He said that FIP’s work is fully aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3 (good health and well-being for all) and that the pharmacy profession can be proud to have contributed to all 13 of the SDG 3 targets in myriad ways. However, he said, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health services as well as bringing additional burden, including an increase in mental health care needs. “Add wars and food insecurities to this landscape, and it can be no surprise that decades of improvements in health outcomes are now under threat of reversal,” he said.

The FIP vice president noted that according to the United Nations, global life expectancy fell back to 71 years in 2021, largely due to the impact of COVID-19. “If universal health coverage is to become a reality, growth in the provision and use of essential health services through pharmacy must accelerate further. Pharmacy — through its many sectors and areas of expertise — is vital to universal health coverage,” he said.

On behalf of the FIP president, Prof. Soni urged the pharmacy sector to “create more comprehensive plans to better manage health crises that may be on the horizon, not only future pandemics, but also urgencies resulting from global problems such as undiagnosed hypertension, obesity, antimicrobial resistance and poor access to immunisations”.

Notes for editors

FIP president Mr Jordan was unable to give the full congress opening ceremony presidential address due to ill health.

IMAGES should be available later today at:

About FIP The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through its 146 member organisations, it represents over four million practitioners and scientists around the world.

About the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences:
FIP’s 80th annual World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is being held in Seville, Spain, from 18 to 21 September under the theme “Pharmacists united in the recovering of health care”. It is co-hosted by the General Pharmaceutical Council of Spain. Some 2,250 pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators from 97 countries are in attendance.

Ms Lin-Nam Wang
Head of Communications & Advocacy
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
Tel +31 70 302 1987

Last update 5 July 2018

FIP Congresses