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FIP president describes plan for profession at opening of 75th world pharmacy congress

The 75th International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences opened today in Düsseldorf, Germany.

At the opening ceremony, FIP President Carmen Peña, in her inaugural presidential address, called on pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists around the world to ensure that the profession of pharmacy remains relevant and able to respond effectively to the current and future needs of the world’s communities.

A way forward is her “Two times two” plan, which she described at the ceremony. It means taking two actions at two levels — one action on professional development and another to promote and defend the profession's interests, each taken at individual and collective levels. People (patients and health professionals), services (public health and clinical pharmacy) and sustainability (in terms of access, use and disposal of medicines) should be the focus of the plan, she said.

Dr Peña also gave particular attention to the pharmacist’s role in empowering women. “Women have a special place in health care,” she said. “They are usually the care providers. They teach their children about hygiene and health. They are often the ones visiting pharmacies on behalf of their families. But in many places today, gender inequality in education means that women may not be empowered to do the best for the health of those they care for. Women should be considered as crucial partners in achieving responsible use of medicines.”

Some 3,104 pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists from 111 countries are attending the congress, the theme of which is “Better practice — science based, evidence driven”. These participants have gathered to discuss how to work towards the best possible pharmacy practice. They will hear about the scientific basis behind it and will learn how evidence drives improvement.