Achieving universal health coverage requires investment in the pharmaceutical workforce, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has warned.
In her opening speech at the 77th World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Seoul, FIP President Carmen PenÌƒa told delegates that the pharmaceutical sector could generate decent, inclusive and sustainable jobs that would lead to better social protection, equality, human rights and the economic empowerment of women and youth, but investment in education and research was needed.
More than 2,600 delegates from 94 countries attended the conference, which is being held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, where PenÌƒa said proper investment should happen within the correct framework.
She added: “Within this framework, we can foster a renewed workforce of knowledgeable, competent and skilled pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and educators in sufficient number to promote our professional development through the expansion of pharmaceutical services, giving people what they expect and what they need.”
Dr PenÌƒa said that the FIP had already invested in the development of pharmacist education systems, and they were working to raise the visibility of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and educators in global health policies.
She also highlighted work done by the FIP with the World Health Organization that had led to a decision by the United Nations to include pharmacists when assessing density of healthcare professionals in addition to doctors, nurses and midwives.
According to Dr PenÌƒa, pharmaceutical services are an intrinsic part of health services, and new services should be responsive to the new needs of a new society across public health, clinical pharmacy, research, education, and new technologies.
“As with new medicines, where we know the importance of research in gathering evidence, we must also apply this concept to pharmaceutical services to be able to understand the importance of demonstrating, from a clinical perspective, their effectiveness for the patient and, from an economic perspective, their efficiency for our systems.”
She added that new digital services that enabled information sharing would be an “engine of change” also helping tackle the burden of chronic illness and the challenge of universal healthcare coverage.
The 78th FIP Congress next year will be hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Glasgow from 2–6 September 2018. This is the first time for nearly 40 years that the FIP World Congress would be held in the UK. Registration will open in January 2018. More information on the event can be found at: https://www.rpharms.com/events/fip-glasgow-2018.