Pharmacists transform the fight against TB!
On World TB Day 2011, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) intensifies its global commitment to stimulate national and local efforts aimed at full involvement of pharmacists in TB care and control by announcing a series of new initiatives supported by the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership. This is a unique public-private collaborative network of range of partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), private and public healthcare professionals, academics, patient- and community-advocacy groups, international organizations, and producers of medicines in developing regions.
FIP recognizes that systematic efforts will be required to enable pharmacists to achieve their full potential in contributing to TB care and control. This may include sensitizing both national TB programs and national pharmaceutical associations on the benefits of working together. Country-specific models of collaboration on the ground may then have to be developed, tried out, documented and scaled up.
Pharmacists can contribute significantly to different tasks essential for quality TB care and control.
To this effect, FIP is launching the first ever FIP TB Challenge Round 1 and invites national pharmacy professional associations and national pharmacy student associations to submit project proposals on innovative approaches to target the following interventions:
• Early identification of TB suspects and referral activities for diagnosis thereby reducing delays in diagnosis, saving costs of care and contributing to increasing case detection.
• Support delivery of DOTS treatment focusing on training of pharmacists and patient adherence, so as to enhance treatment success, reducing defaults and contributing to cutting the disease transmission.
• Improving rational use of anti-TB medicines and contributing to preventing emergence of drug resistance.
• Public education and communication campaigns on TB and MDR-TB awareness
Applicants would be expected to describe proposed interventions for funding, while considering, inter alia, technical issues, cost-effectiveness, feasibility, sustainability and impact.
FIP will also be developing a new online TB training course (30 contact hours)to support distance learning for pharmacists on their roles in TB care and control.
For more information on the FIP TB Challenge Round 1 and how FIP is supporting pharmacists and its Member Organizations in the fight against TB, please visit www.fip.org/tb