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.

Pre-Registration Exam: Whatever the result, the RPS is here for you

Today, the GPhC released the results of the June 2017 registration assessment. It’s a fantastic time of year where the next batch of pharmacists are beginning their fulfilling career in such a challenging but rewarding industry.

The GPhC Chief Executive, Duncan Rudkin said, “I want to congratulate the trainees who passed this year’s registration assessment and wish them all the best for their future careers. From the first day on our register, pharmacists play an integral role in supporting the health of their patients. The registration assessment helps to make sure that candidates have – and are able to demonstrate – the knowledge and skills to meet this important responsibility.”

Unfortunately, we know that the exams are extremely tough and that not everyone will be celebrating today. This year, 78.2% of trainees passed the exam, which means just over 600 pre-registration trainees having unfortunately, fallen short.

Whatever the result means for you, we want you to know that the RPS is here to support you. We have a number of resources on our website, ranging from essential guides for starting your career, right through to alternative options if you have failed the exam for the third and final time.

If you didn’t pass the pre-registration assessment then don’t panic. The RPS professional support service can be contacted on support@rpharms.com or by phone on 0845 257 2570. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can offer guidance on any issues or questions you might have, and let you know what steps to take.

If you passed then follow these useful links

Essential guides for community
Essential guide for hospital
Essential guide for pharmaceutical industry
Foundation Programme
Mentoring

If you haven’t passed, these links and resources will help you prepare for the next assessment

The latest MEP
The reclassification hub
A-Z resources, which includes a range of Quick Reference Guides
Top tips for preparing for the assessment

If you failed for the third and final time, although you may not be able to register as a pharmacist, you have gained a valuable set of knowledge, skills and experience through your degree and pre-registration training. Many of these are transferrable to other roles and environments. There are many alternative opportunities available to you so do not give up on your career aspirations.

Pharmacist Support outlines some career options in their factsheet, Careers advice and options for pharmacy graduates. This covers pharmacy and non-pharmacy roles that you can consider. Think about all the options available to you and research potential roles to see if they interest you.

Once you have decided on a new career path to pursue, try to arrange work placements in this sector/environment to give you an idea of what the role may be like, and what the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks are.

Tips

  • Consider registering with recruitment agencies
  • Make use of social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter to network and make contacts
  • Highlight the skills and knowledge you have gained to enhance your CV and cover letter when applying for jobs
  • Seek advice from a careers centre or advisor

For more details and the full pass list please visit the GPhC website.

The 15th Joint Qualified Person Symposium

Robert Smith PictureThe Joint Qualified Person Symposium is themed “The QP in a new world”. It is the 15th Symposium to be held by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal Society of Biology and Royal Society of Chemistry.

As a QP, I’m looking forward to attending the upcoming QP Symposium in May 2017. I attended the last symposium in 2015 and I found it a great day for networking with so many QP colleagues and to find out that we all share a lot of common issues and hear how these issues had been dealt with.

This year, I’m particularly looking forward to the sessions run by the MHRA on Annex 16 and serialisation. I’m hoping that we shall hear some real life examples as to the issues the MHRA are seeing with implementation of this recently updated annex.

As the industry gears up for serialisation, it will be particularly interesting to hear about checking packs into databases and what expectations there will be on the QP to verify the data has been properly uploaded.

I am also very interested in the MHRA enforcement group talk. As QPs, we have a great deal of interaction with the inspectorate but very little interaction with the enforcement group. As a pharmacist, I see this as important work. It will be interesting to find out what they do, how it’s done and as QPs, how we may be able to help in the fight to crack down on the illegal trade in pharmaceuticals that have the potential harm to our patients.

Finally, as a speaker at the symposium, I hope you will learn something from my presentation on Transitioning from Traditional Dosage Forms to Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products. When I first started working on these products, they were very much seen as the future of treating disease and illness but there were not that many products in research and development and there was little regulatory framework in place. Now we have a regulatory framework and there are quite a few ATMPs showing great promise in the clinic, and there are some products on the market. However, as a practicing QP there is still very little training out there for a QP who wants to transition to these products. The aim of my talk is to show you how I made the transition from releasing traditional dosage forms to ATMPs and hopefully encourage some QPs to embark on a similar journey.

I look forward to meeting you at the symposium.

Robert Smith BSc (Hons), MSc, PgDip, MRPharmS
Director, Smiro Qualitas Ltd

The Joint QP Symposium will be held on 17 May 2017 at Mary Ward House, London WC1. View a full programme of speakers and book online here.