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Transforming the global pharmaceutical workforce

As medicines experts, the pharmaceutical workforce* plays a key role in improving health outcomes through responsible use of medicines and optimising effective choice and use.

The continued development of pharmacy services and the pharmaceutical sciences relies on a well educated, competent, sufficient and well distributed pharmaceutical workforce.

Transforming the global pharmaceutical workforce requires a global vision with clear and consensus-based objectives consistent with global health strategies.

Three milestone documents for workforce development

FIP developed a transformative workforce roadmap, which was adopted at the Global Conference on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Education held in Nanjing, China, in November 2016.

This roadmap sets out the desired milestones for education and workforce development of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, clearly linked with a global vision for transforming pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education. Following an extensive consensus-based consultation process, three milestone documents were presented and adopted at the global conference:

  1. A Global Vision for Education and Workforce that describes the future directions of our profession and how education can support the progression of medicines science and practice.
  2. A set of Pharmaceutical Workforce Development Goals (PWDGs), which aim to facilitate national implementation of the global vision and roadmap through a series of measurable, feasible and tangible goals.
  3. A set of Statements on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Education (“the Nanjing Statements”) that describe an envisioned future for progressive professional education, to enable the further enhancement of pharmaceutical education standards worldwide.

FIP, under the aegis of FIP Education (FIPEd), is committed to coordinating efforts to transform the global pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences workforce.

FIPEd is the body within FIP coordinating all the activities related to pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education and workforce development. Since 2008, FIPEd has developed tools that enable global action to improve pharmaceutical education, which are locally adaptable and then applied to ensure that specific country and regional needs are met.

Take action

To translate these outcomes into actions, FIP calls on leaders in pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical education, governments and other key stakeholders to:

  1. Support and advocate the implementation of the global vision, PWDGs and the Nanjing Statements.
  2. Engage in a national dialogue with key stakeholders (including governments) to analyse the current workforce profile and identify the needs for change; review or develop a strategy for the pharmaceutical workforce, guided by the conclusions of the global conference.
  3. Prioritise the adoption of the PWDGs in the context of their national strategies on health and workforce development.
  4. Report back to FIP on how they have implemented the conclusions of the conference.

Workforce Transformation Programme

The FIP Workforce Transformation Programme (WTP) is designed to advance pharmaceutical workforces in countries around the world. The development of an adaptable, flexible and competent pharmaceutical workforce is key to achieving access to quality essential health services, and safe and effective medicines and vaccines, which, in turn, are fundamental requirements of universal health coverage. 

The FIP WTP is a practical and flexible model, which will: assist countries in assessing their individual pharmacy workforce needs and priorities; support them to develop needs-based national workforce strategies and infrastructure; and provide co-created solutions, tools, mechanisms and resources for implementation. 


For further information, please contact

*Pharmaceutical workforce refers to the whole of the pharmacy related workforce (e.g. registered pharmacist practitioners, pharmaceutical scientists, pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy support workforce cadres, pre-service students/trainees) working in a diversity of settings (e.g. community, hospital, research and development, industry, military, regulatory, academia and other sectors) with a diversity of scope of practice.

Last update 4 February 2020

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