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Home  »   Insight   »   Why has PDA joined the International Pharmaceutical Federation? (FIP)

Why has PDA joined the International Pharmaceutical Federation? (FIP)

The PDA had already been a member of the European employee pharmacist organisation called EPhEU since 2011. It has become increasingly obvious that being able to collaborate and learn from pharmacy organisations from other parts of the world is a good thing for PDA members.

Wed 21st December 2022 The PDA

The PDA had already been a member of the European employee pharmacist organisation called EPhEU since 2011. It has become increasingly obvious that being able to collaborate and learn from pharmacy organisations from other parts of the world is a good thing for PDA members.

In particular, the learnings from things that had either been done well or been done badly elsewhere were going to help the PDA to create and drive policy for the benefit of members here in the UK. For example, in Austria, community pharmacists are not employed by the owners, they are employed by a national pharmacist salary fund and deployed to community pharmacies, in Poland, the £14 Covid vaccination fee is paid 50% to the pharmacy owner and 50% to the pharmacist.

The decision to join FIP in September 2022 was an extension of that philosophy, it means that the PDA can seek out the very best ideas from a much larger international network for the benefit of members.

We will elaborate upon the wider range of benefits as we develop them for the benefit of members in the forthcoming months, however, here are just a few areas in which both the PDA and members can get directly involved in some established international collaborative networks, forums, and programmes.

  1. Early career group for pharmacy practice and science
  2. The International equality programme
  3. The environmental sustainability of roles and services
  4. Global advances in pharmacy technology
  5. Anti-Microbial Resistance
  6. International Labour relations and best employment practices
  7. FIP champions programmes

These are to name but a few, but PDA members will now enjoy the opportunity to develop their own international contacts through participating in FIP events, which are held both regionally and all over the world.

Aligned to the World Health Organisation

Above all it is the formal recognition of FIP by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to which the PDA attaches a lot of importance. For far too long, here in the UK the pharmacy profession is too easily accepting the world view of the UK government on pharmacy practice and health care generally.

We live in a time where there is a massive workforce crisis in healthcare, risks are routinely being introduced to patients and healthcare workers due to a lack of resource being committed; take for example the scandal of pharmacists being told by the government that they did not need PPE during the Covid crisis.

There is an ongoing liberalisation of healthcare practice where unqualified or poorly trained individuals are increasingly being asked to perform roles that they lack the expertise for.  Professional roles are being given to those with only technical competence, and all of this is being labelled by the government as progress. It has therefore become important to set the quality and safety compass on an organisation that can act as a more appropriate arbiter of quality and safety than can the UK treasury.

One of the ambitions of the PDA is that members who want their good ideas advanced can, with the support of the PDA, get them raised with the UK authorities, but where that does not work, to escalate this through FIP to an international forum and ultimately to the World Health Organisation if appropriate. The PDA will work hard on driving considerable member benefits from its FIP membership.

The reaction of FIP Chief Exec about the PDA’s membership

Dr Catherine Duggan, Chief Exec of FIP

“Having the PDA as a member of FIP is hugely important for both the federation and for the PDA and its members. The first piece of unique contribution is the humanitarian work that the PDA has been leading on behalf of our European partners in Ukraine.

The FIP vision is for a world where everyone has access to safe, affordable, and effective medicines. This is even more of an imperative during times of emergency, crises, natural disasters, and war. Patients and the public in a war-torn country need more than ever access to safe medicines. The importance of the PDA leading this project in Ukraine is highly respected and FIP wants to acknowledge and enable this learning to shape our humanitarian response to future disasters – whether man made or naturally caused. We look forward to working in collaboration with the PDA to do so.

Another unique area of work that we would want the PDA to lead is with the International Labour Organisation, a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice by setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN. The work that the PDA has done across the UK and in supporting other countries in these areas is second to none. Now, the PDA can lead on this for our profession globally.

Other areas of contribution on behalf of the entire UK, is contributions to our surveys, to our databases, to our areas of work such as our global pharmaceutical observatory, the FIP development goals, patient safety, access, sustainability, and equity. We look forward to having the contribution of the UK pharmacist workforce and employees in these regards.

There is much to learn from others and for the PDA to take a leading role in alongside other organisations across Great Britain and the UK, from science and practice as well. Undoubtedly, membership of FIP will add a huge benefit to the members of the PDA across the UK and we are delighted that the PDA has become a member.”

FIP membership will support the wider objectives of the PDA’s humanitarian campaign

The PDA has also joined FIP to advance its wider humanitarian ambitions as advocated by PDA members.

Through the international pharmacy organisation contacts of FIP and the regional networks of WHO, the possibility of establishing the necessary operational footprint to develop the Medicines to ******* campaign, which can be deployed in response to a crisis in any part of the world, becomes entirely viable. Work to develop this programme is already underway.


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