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Home  »   National Association of Women PharmacistsMember VoiceLatest News   »   PDA NAWP Network supports the 17th EWPM

PDA NAWP Network supports the 17th EWPM

President of the PDA NAWP Network, Ayah Abbass, and co-opted member of the PDA NAWP Network, Nicola Rees recently attended the 17th European Women’s Pharmacy Meeting (EWPM), held in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Here Ayah and Nicola share their experience of representing the PDA NAWP Network at the annual meeting.

Mon 6th November 2023 The PDA

The purpose of the EWPM is to bring Pharmacists together from across Europe, to discuss what is felt to be a current topical issue in pharmacy across the different European countries at that time. This year the title was ‘From Puberty to Menopause: Pharmacists supporting Women’s Reproductive Health’.

Each year the EWPM is organised by women Pharmacists from across Europe and as the PDA NAWP Network it is something we are actively involved in. It is, however, worth noting that the EWPM is open to all pharmacists in all sectors, not just women. The EWPM is held in a different country each year, with next year’s meeting planned to be held in Greece.

As well as the educational aspect of the EWPM, the meeting allows pharmacists to network, share best practices, and share different experiences of how things are implemented or done differently in each country. The meeting is also supplemented by a cultural and social programme in each host country.

Dr Christine Heading, a Past President of the PDA NAWP Network and Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Hazel Baker and Anita White, Past Presidents of the PDA NAWP Network, and myself as the current president of the network along with Monica Rose, Fellow of the RPS attended the EWPM in Maastricht along with other UK attendees.

Anita White said, “A very well organised meeting, with a very topical subject. A great way to network with colleagues of all ages from across many European countries. Lovely to see so many friends, both new and old, after 3 years of not seeing them in person.”

Speakers at the meeting

Meike Van’t Hof, a nurse and manager of Not Pregnant focused on providing support for people in vulnerable circumstances with unplanned pregnancies. I personally had a great discussion with Meike about women’s health and we both agreed there is a gap in education about women’s health during school and university years.

Annemieke De Groot focused on different types of contraception and how we can provide enough information to help empower women to pick contraception. We know that when it comes to contraception there is a vast amount of negative information about the side effects. Annemieke highlighted the importance of analysing the information for your patients.

De Maartje Konijn focused on drug use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. What I found interesting is her explanation about finding ways to help pregnant women have access to reliable and safe information during a period where women can find it very stressful.

Mrs Rineke Gordijn focused on unspoken side effects of medications and finding ways to help patients feel comfortable to discuss this with their Pharmacist. She spoke about how certain medications may cause low sexual libido or erectile dysfunction. Rineke also discussed how important it is to signpost young patients who suffer from erectile dysfunction to prevent cardiovascular risks.

Our UK speaker Dr Nuttan Tanna, a Pharmacist consultant specialist in menopause discussed the risks and benefits of HRT and a toolkit Pharmacists can use to assess patients. What I found fascinating was there was a workshop in place to support their employees going through menopause. Imagine this was compulsory in the UK workplace and how empowering it can be when you are going through menopause.

Dr Zuzana Vanekova focused on the role of herbal medications during menstruation and menopause. The role of herbal medication is still questionable in the pharmacy world as it is hard to obtain reliable information and their side effects. This topic was very informative we learned about the use of ginger during pregnancy for sickness and how it is more effective to actually eat ginger and not just put it in your tea as its bioavailability can be altered.

We ended the meeting with a discussion panel where I was surrounded by incredible women celebrating each other.

We were deeply saddened to hear that Sonja Keizers, President of NOVA (Dutch Association of Women Pharmacists) passed away a few days after the meeting. I can’t put into words how lovely she was in ensuring everyone felt welcomed and empowered at the meeting. As the PDA NAWP Network we are still shocked and saddened by this news. We will carry on with her incredible work to empower women. I still remember her last words at the meeting which were, “I’m happy to say I am a woman.”

Christine said, “I too recently returned from EWPM in Maastricht, as one of a group who have been involved with the PDA NAWP Network for many years. The news today is desperately sad, and the feeling amongst those of us who attended from the UK is there we have lost one of our own. She will be remembered with respect and affection. My condolences to her husband, family, friends, and colleagues.”

The PDA NAWP Network will be involved in planning next year’s meeting in Greece! Please check EWPM’s social media for further information and updates. I am so grateful to be part of such an incredible team and to make this happen again.

EWPM Committee in Maastricht

The PDA NAWP Network organised ‘Wear It Pink’ in Maastricht for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

All attendees of the 17th EWPM

By Ayah Abbass, Clinical Pharmacist and PDA NAWP Network President, and Nicola Rees, Community Pharmacist and co-opted member of the PDA NAWP Network

Get Involved

  • Follow the PDA NAWP Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAnawp
  • For more information about the PDA NAWP Network, click here.
  • If you would like to get involved with the network and its activities, please email:


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