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Science should inform practice
Science should inform pharmacy practice
but often it doesn't and pharmacists should
be asking why according to Professor
Gregory Peterson from the University
He told those attending the FIP session:
Science -- the best basis for the best practice
that science should inform not dictate
'Science is continually changing and
pharmacists need to be adaptable,' he said.
'Students need to understand that much
of what they learn at uni will be useless in
10 years and accept that medical changes
and medical reversal is common.'
Professor Peterson gave several examples
where accepted practice had been
changed when new research indicated
that accepted practice had little or no
He said that science was only one aspect
of evidence-based practice, the other
two being, the clinician's experience and
'We need to train students in interpreting
scientific evidence and in media analysis
so they can talk to patients with accuracy.
They need to understand the three parts of
EBM,' Professor Peterson said.
'Students need to develop the ability to
understand, evaluate and present scientific
findings to consumers.'
All diseases are network diseases according
to Hans Westerhoff from the University of
Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Speaking at the FIP session on:
Why are patients complex? He said that
medicine had not dealt with diseases as
'The old paradigm is that disease is due
to a sick molecule. In this new paradigm,
a network disease is caused by a
combination of possibly remote factors --
for example causes A, B and C lead to
impaired function,' he said.
'It adds to the complexity of the
problem and treatment can mean using
Professor Westerhoff said that an
individualised system of pharmacology
'How do we figure out the correct therapy
when it is a complex network?' he asked.
His suggestion was to project all information
into a computer replica of the individual,
then pre-test the drugs to be used on the
replica, what he called a virtual twin.
The growing number of employed
pharmacists worldwide and increasing
tensions between business practices and
provisional ideals have made the issue
of professional autonomy increasingly
important, Professor Bill Zellmer from
the United States told his audience at the
FIP session on ethical responsibility and
Professor Zellmer, the 2013 FIP Lifetime
Achievement in Pharmaceutical Practice
Award winner, gave US examples where
corporate interest had prevailed over
professional autonomy. One was where
a commercial compounding company
had been heavily fined for selling
'The profit motive overshadowed the duty of
care,' he said.
Professor Zellmer said that pharmacists were
moving from a supply function to a patient
care level and the primary role of pharmacists
was shifting. The issue of professional
autonomy had also become more important
as a result.
'We need to increase awareness of the issue
in pharmacy and encourage pharmacists'
commitment to a higher standard of
professional conduct,' he said.
Presenting at the same session, Dr Betty
Chaar from the University of Sydney said that
codes of ethics were an important difference
between an occupation and a profession.
She said that a code of ethics was a
statement of a profession's commitment to
'Are they a wall decoration or a declaration?'
Dr Chaar said that codes of ethics needed to
be 'seeded into students' minds as part of the
undergraduate professional training.
FIP News Briefs
FIP and the Royal Pharmaceutical
Society have) signed a Memorandum
of Understanding to support the
establishment of a Global Pharmacy
Workforce Observatory. The initiative
is based on the data and case studies
from the 2009 and 2012 FIP Global
Pharmacy Workforce Reports
The FIP and RPS will work together
to promote and develop an online
database platform for global workforce
intelligence that will be hosted
by the RPS on behalf of FIP and
specifically the FIP Education Initiative.
The database platform will be
accessible and utilised by FIP Member
Organisations and FIP Institutional
Members as a membership benefit.
FIP has adopted the FIP Education
Initiative (FIPEd) 2014-2018 Global
Education Action Plan.
Through more than 100 years of
experience, FIP has established its
place as the global leader in science,
practice, and now education.
The FIPEd 2014-2018 Global Education
Action Plan outlines seven pillars
of activity that will enable global
action in education reform. The pillars
will focus on developing tools,
methodology and services to facilitate
the transformation of education,
and includes: A Global conference
on pharmacy and pharmaceutical
science education, Global
Leadership-Training and Networks,
FIP Annual Congress Educational
Sessions and Forums, Education
Development Projects and Technical
Reports, Education consultation
services and Centres of Excellence,
and the FIPEd Infrastructure & Global
Representation. Initial education is
key in the development of the health
care workforce for the future; better
science, better practice, and better
health care are all linked to the
responsible use of medicines.
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