Why I’m going to the 2018 FIP World Congress in Glasgow

Ravi Sharma, Primary Care pharmacist, spoke to us about his experiences of attending the FIP World Congress.

Seoul 2017 was my second FIP World Congress and my first time as a speaker. My first congress was in Dusseldorf in 2015. I remember my first time attending FIP in Germany was quite scary at first, as it was a bit daunting being on my own and trying to network with people who come from all over the world. However, I quickly realised that the people who attend are lovely, very friendly and easy to talk to. Everyone was very keen on networking, getting to know each other and interested in hearing about all the transformational work that is happening in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences across the globe.

There was a variety of interesting and current topics at Seoul this year. They covered a range of key global health topics such as AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance), new models of healthcare, education reform/transformation and public health. FIP World Congress provides the global view on pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences by promoting shared learning from around the world, showing how it’s possible to deliver care differently across difference health social-economies and systems.

FIP World Congress was a great opportunity to learn about advances in education and how we can implement best practice. We also got to hear the latest trends and research in clinical, educational and futuristic healthcare such as genomics and gene-cell therapies. All this gave me great new ideas to apply to day to day practice. The congress included very interesting and interactive workshops spanning different clinical, leadership and education topics; inter-professional, experimental learning and flipped classrooms.

FIP is a great opportunity to network with global leaders in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, but also to meet speakers outside traditional pharmacy who can provide valuable insights and perspectives. Networking in this way allows you to create new opportunities to collaborate on all levels; clinical, academic, policy, innovation and new models of care.

Attending FIP is always a fantastic chance to meet friends from across the world, to be inspired and get motivated. In 2018, FIP World Congress is taking place in the UK for the first time in nearly 40 years, in Glasgow. From 2-6 September the international pharmacy world will converge in Scotland. Make sure you don’t miss out! Booking opens January 15th 2018. Check out www.rpharms.com/fip2018 for more information.

Pharmacists’ role in person-centred care

By Andrew McCracken, head of communications at National Voices.

For at least 20 years, policy makers have been aspiring to deliver ‘person-centred’ care.

There have been revised definitions of quality, national commitments, and phrases like “people at the heart” and “empowered communities” have become ubiquitous.

So what difference, if any, have policymakers’ stated ambitions made to the experiences of people who need and use services and support? We wanted to know. Read more Pharmacists’ role in person-centred care

Community pharmacists against common infections

Jonathan BurtonArticle by Jonathan Burton, Community pharmacist, Vice Chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board

I work in a community pharmacy setting and as you might imagine I see many people through the day who present with various symptoms, wanting advice about their ailments and how to treat them. As winter closes in, these symptoms are for the most part those associated with seasonal coughs and colds, sore throats and ear ache. Read more Community pharmacists against common infections

Protect yourself from flu this winter

Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Jodie Williamson MRPharmS

by Jodie Williamson, Pharmacist and Professional Development and Engagement Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

In September 2017, the NHS announced that it was preparing for the worst flu season it has ever seen. This is likely to be caused by a heavy flu season, which has been predicted in the wake of more cases of flu than usual detected during the southern hemisphere winter, and a lack of hospital beds. With that in mind, it’s time to think about what you can do to protect yourself. Read more Protect yourself from flu this winter

Get all the support you need for your time at university

By Laura Bushell, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

We offer our student members an extensive range of resources to facilitate your learning and to help you to achieve your best in your studies. Because we offer so many resources, we understand that it can be difficult to know where to start!

That’s why we’ve created a ‘Student Hub’ dedicated to the resources that will be essential in your studies.

Read more Get all the support you need for your time at university

Pharmagraphics

By Briony Hudson, Pharmacy historian, curator and lecturer

What do mandrake, medicinal treacle and the RPS headquarters have in common?

They all feature in Pharmagraphics , a new online “digital story” from the Wellcome Collection that explores the relationship between pharmacy and design across time.

I started work on the project with Julia Nurse, Wellcome Library’s Collections Researcher, earlier this year to produce six “chapters” that looked at different aspects of pharmacy history and how graphics, design and imagery played their part.  The aim was to link with the Wellcome Collection’s current exhibition ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’, and to draw on the fantastic collection of images both within Wellcome’s own collection and elsewhere including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum . Read more Pharmagraphics

Biologics and biosimilars – what are they?

By Jayne Lawrence, Head of Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, University of Manchester.

The Commissioning Framework for Biological Medicines announced recently by NHS England will both help guide improvements to developing better medicines for patients and provide a guide to ensuring the NHS gets best value for money from these innovative, exciting medicines.

What is a biologic?
Biological medicines have made many new, groundbreaking treatments possible, significantly im-proving the lives of many patients with long term conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, anaemia associated with chronic kidney failure, and types of cancer.

They are extremely expensive, in part due to the complexity of their production. For example, a course of a new immunotherapy drug typically costs more than £100,000 per patient per year. Furthermore, as biologicals currently comprise approximately 50% of all new drug approvals, it is likely that the high cost of new medicines is with us for the foreseeable future. Consequently, any way of reducing the cost of these important medicines is vital. Read more Biologics and biosimilars – what are they?

Integrative medicine approach to treating cancer patients

By Louisa Davies, Senior Clinical Oncology Pharmacist at University College of London Hospital

I love my job! I’ve been a qualified clinical pharmacist for 12 years and am very fortunate to work at the wonderful Macmillan Cancer Centre at University College Hospital in London as a specialist oncology pharmacist. I find it immensely rewarding as every day is an opportunity to support someone along their cancer journey.

I have a personal interest in wellness and the growing use of supplements for health and over the past few years I have seen more and more patients adopting an integrative approach to their cancer care. At UCLH we recorded that around 35% of patients we saw in clinic were taking or wanted to start taking supplements to improve their side effects or boost their immunity whilst on anti cancer therapy. Read more Integrative medicine approach to treating cancer patients

Why is handwashing important?

By Professor Ash Soni, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Every day we carry millions of bacteria, some of which are naturally found on our bodies and some of which are germs that can make us ill or infect others.

Every day we have contact with people who don’t always wash their hands after going to the toilet, or preparing food.

Our survey on handwashing shows 84% of British adults don’t wash their hands for long enough to clean them of bacteria which can cause infections such as upset stomachs or pneumonia, or viruses which can cause colds and flu.

Regular handwashing with soap and water is the single best way to protect yourself and others from infections. The recommended time to spend washing your hands is 20 seconds, as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday to you’ twice. Read more Why is handwashing important?