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International oath for pharmacists launched

An oath for pharmacists has been officially released by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). Available in different languages, it is intended for use at events in schools of pharmacy to launch students towards their studies or at public events such as graduation ceremonies and professional conferences.

Pharmacy associations and institutions around the world may also choose to use the FIP oath as a model to be adapted according to their countries' needs.

Developed by FIP's Working Group on Pharmacist Ethics and Professional Autonomy, the wording of the oath was adopted by the Council of FIP in Bangkok, Thailand, on 31 August. "Although some pharmacy oaths already exist, an advantage of the FIP model is that pharmacists can be confident it was prepared with an international perspective, taking into account the most fundamental principles that guide the ethical behaviour of members of our profession," said William Zellmer, co-chairman of the working group.

In an article published in the latest issue of the International Pharmacy Journal (November) explaining the background to the oath and emphasising its value, he and working group co-chair Betty Chaar write: "An oath of a pharmacist, if used properly, can be an important instrument in deepening pharmacists' sense of professional obligation." Contained in the oath are vows to protect confidentiality and to nurture the preparation of future members of the profession.

"All health professionals regularly face ethical and moral challenges and can benefit from a reminder, from time to time, of the commitment they made to support, above all, the health and well-being of those they serve. Pharmacists might even consider posting a copy of the oath in their practice setting," they add.

A4-sized, printable versions of the oath are currently available in four languages, English, German, Spanish and Mongolian, with more translations to come.

The latest issue of the IPJ is available here.