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PDA Union attends the 8th General Assembly of EPhEU

Last month the PDA Union were represented at the 8th General Assembly of EPhEU (European Association of Employed Pharmacists in Europe).

Mon 14th October 2019 The PDA

The event took place on 6 September at the Croatian Pharmaceutical Society in Zagreb, Croatia.

About EPhEU

EPhEU is the first European-wide organisation representing the interests of employed community pharmacists. Founded in 2012 (1st General Assembly on 30th June 2012), EPhEU helps the cross-border cooperation of national organisations representing employed community pharmacists. The exchange of information and experiences is intensified at periodical international meetings, to give a better response to subjects like mobility, working time directive and on-call-time, initial qualification training and continuing professional development of pharmacists.

The PDA also attended the Executive Meeting on the 5th September. Topics of discussion included training requirements, the impact of FMD (Falsified Medicines Directive), short supplies of medicines and Brexit. The subject of drug shortages was clearly of concern and it was thought that one cause could be FMD, which was slowing down production of new supplies whilst correctly barcoded packaging was produced. Delegates agreed to undertake a piece of work looking at how drug shortages were affecting member countries and whether there were any notable differences.

They also agreed that whilst FMD might prove troublesome in some countries, it was important as a measure to prevent the incursion of counterfeit medicines into supply chains and to protect both patients and pharmacists. It was noted that in some countries the use of barcodes to promote medicines safety had been in place for years. The subject of shortages led to a discussion regarding generic substitution, which is currently allowed in some countries. In France, pharmacists are also now allowed to endorse with brands where no generic product was available. Delegates agreed that pharmacists should be able to make substitutions to deal with shortages.

The General Assembly took place on 6 September and consisted of the following sessions:

  • Women in pharmacy leadership in Scandinavia
  • Pharmaceutical care pilot in Poland
  • Key issues being handled by the PDA – Delivered by Mark Koziol, Chairman, PDA
  • ‘Together we are strong’ – a look at pharmacy unionisation in German
  • Learning about the French model of Pharmacy
  • Medicines shortages and pharmaceutical services in Austria
  • Union in EU – what’s new?
  • How FIP can support us

There was also a panel discussion on eHealth with representatives from the drug companies Pliva/Teva, Sandoz, as well as the President of the Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists.

EPhEU has been an observer member of FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation) Since 2014.

The PDAU delegation found the General Assembly really informative and welcomed the opportunity to discuss and compare pharmacy related issues with colleagues from across the continent. We are pleased that PDAU will continue to play a full part in EPhEU whether the UK remains in the EU or not.

For more information about EPhEU, visit:


The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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