of bringing pharmacy knowledge and students together
to work toward diploma equivalence in relation to the free movement of pharmacists within the EU
Forty bright and intense years have passed since the first steps to originate this cherished association were made. We all know where we are standing now, but what has actually brought us here? For this commemorative publication, we aimed higher than displaying EPSA’s achievements chronologically. When such an association exists for so long, it means that it underwent a smooth evolution and all the projects were kept sustainable and evolved according to members’ will. Therefore, as the success does not only rely on the starting and ending points, the focus of this Booklet will be the fascinating evolution of all EPSA Projects and pillars.
Special and sincere thanks go to the amazing Editorial Team that has accepted to join this unbelievably demanding challenge and has worked so hard on the quality research for this exceptional piece of reading.
to represent, reach and engage every single pharmacy student in Europe
I am hereby honoured to present you the 40th Anniversary Booklet and I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we felt gratified creating it. Catarina Nobre, President 2016-2017
Title: EPSA 40th Anniversary Booklet Editorial: Adriana Slaná, Catarina Nobre, Cláudia Ferreira, Diogo Piedade, Elena Popa, Eva Shannon Schiffrer, Marta Simões, Teresa Accettura, Viktoria Jungreithmayr Design: Diogo Piedade
Review: David Kološic, Mia Šojat, Natalie James, Nikola Lazarevski 2
Advocacy External Collaboration
Training Project Science
Individual Mobility Project
2004 1995 Website
Permanent Oﬃce Summer University
160 000 members, one voice From the very beginning being, the voice of Pharmacy students in Europe was our main priority. Ever since 1978, EPSA has always had voice on topics such as pharmacy curricula, methods of education and the role of the pharmacist as a healthcare professional in society. In 1988, the European Pharmacy Students’ Committee (ESC, later EPSA) goals were “to promote contacts and exchange of information between European Pharmacy Students”, “To develop a consensus of opinion on pharmacy education and the profession” and “to present the opinions of the Pharmacy students in discussion in professional and government bodies” thus, advocating for pharmacy students was its main foundation. So what has actually changed? The topics and the main issues regarding the pharmaceutical world and education remain the same, but change is built upon through different approaches.
Concerned not only about education itself, but also about the future of the pharmaceutical career, in 1990 the main topic of discussion was “New fields for Pharmacy”. This time, a new idea was urging: Communication as one of the skills mostly needed for Pharmacists “Communication with patients and other healthcare professionals will become more and more important for pharmacists”, “The Pharmacy education should encourage the student to be innovative. A problem based education will give the student experience of solving problems he is confronted with”. Nowadays, one of EPSA’s most recent position papers is: “The Inclusion of Soft Skills in the Pharmacy Curricula” where EPSA calls on educational institutions for “Recognition of Soft Skills as a key component in patient-centred care”. In 1994, under the discussion of the proposal for the need of a two-year post graduation course of specialisation in community pharmacy, EPSA held several meetings with the Pharmacutical Group of the European Union and presented itself against the European Commission proposal. “It is not reasonable to add two years in all countries”, “The basic education is very different among all EU and European Free Trade Association countries”. Still in 1994, EPSA also voiced its concerns regarding the ERASMUS Programme launched by the European Economic Community in 1987 and the fact that the period spent abroad in studies was not recognised by the national pharmaceutical societies.
Back in the 80’s and early 90’s Specialisation and Continuing Education as well as Methods of Teaching Pharmacy were the two hot topics laying on the table resulting in a conclusions booklet in 1992. In “Teaching Pharmacy: An Evaluation by the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Committee” where we could read “we aim to achieve comparable standards of education with due regard to the variation between the educational system of each country” and some words supporting interprofessional collaboration “we recommend studying with students from related disciplines as this would increase mutual awareness and provide basis for a better relationship between the disciplines”.
In the mid and late 90’s new and controversial topics started being discussed after some investigations had concluded that many students across Europe had little or no insight into them: “Legalisation of Hard Drugs”, “Generic Substitution”, “The Pharmacist role on SelfMedication” and in 1998, EPSA released its Statement of Opinion on Pharmaceutical Care.
Today, EPSA has its joint policy paper with other health students’ associations on interprofessional Education where we call on educational institutions to “Recognise interprofessional education as key component on the healthcare students’ curricula to optimally prepare healthcare students for their future roles in developing multidisciplinary care teams in patient-centred health systems.”
Most recently, we can read about benefits of mHeath applications and the related concerns on misinformation on “EPSA’s Statement of Opinion on Mobile Health” (2014), and the concerns and recommendations on “Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance” joint policy paper and “EPSA’s Position Paper on Pharmacists Delivered Vaccination.” 7
External collaboration over the past 40 years
EPSA has always been eager to collaborate with other student associations. For this reason, Intersectorial Meeting of International Students’ Organisations (IMISO), which consisted of four member associations (EMSA, IFMSA, IPSF and EPSA) was established. During these meetings, collaboration between the associations was discussed, and good practices were shared. This joint project expanded further and today, 28 student Non-Governmental Organisations meet twice per year at the Informal Forum for International Student Organisations (IFISO) meeting for the same purpose. “IPSF and EPSA have always stood togetherfor the development and representation in all aspects for Pharmacy students in Europe. We very much cherish our proven fruitful collaboration while serving Pharmacy students.” Israel Bimpe, President 2016-2017, Intenational Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation EPSA is now proud to organise four main events every year. Looking back, we can say that this high number of quality events has evolved from important and fruitful collaborations with other associations. The first Summer University, for instance, was organised as a joint project with EDSA (European Dental Students’ Association) and CEEPUS (Central European Educational Program of University Studies) in 1999 in Zadar, Croatia. EPSA’s second largest event, the Autumn Assembly, evolved from a jointly organised students day at the ESCP (European Society of Clinical Pharmacy) symposium in 1999, which consisted of lectures, workshops and a panel discussion on inclusion of clinical pharmacy in European curricula. The first official EPSA Autumn Assembly was then organised in 2004. 8
In EPSA’s history of external collaboration, 1999 was an eventful year, as it was in this year that ESCP offered EPSA to create a permanent office at their headquarters in Leiden. In 2004, the EPSA headquarters were moved to Brussels and have been located at the office of the Pharmaceutical Group of European Union (PGEU) ever since. Today, PGEU hosts an EPSA intern every year and provides its premises for the EPSA Team meetings.
“On behalf of all PGEU members, I commend the exemplary efforts of everyone affiliated with the EPSA throughout its 40 years’ history. I extend my appreciation for your many valuable contributions to the European pharmacy and PGEU. We remain committed and will continue supporting your efforts to help your members grow as leaders and stay connected in an increasingly-complex world. Congratulations again, and best wishes for many more years of success.” Jūratė Švarcaitė, Secretary General, Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union In the past years, the collaboration with European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has increased substantially with having two interns and two ongoing mutual projects. The starting point of this collaboration was marked in 2005, when the EPSA-EAHP Student Science Award was implemented to offer pharmacy students the opportunity to promote their research in hospital pharmacy. EPSA has consistently been involved in shaping pharmacy curricula in Europe. It is important to mention EPSA’s collaboration with EAFP (European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy), working closely together on a student session at their annual conference and several other projects. After the restructure of the External Department in the mandate 20152016, an executive position solely responsible for the collaboration with external associations and partners has been established, the Vice President of External Relations.
43 associations, 35 countries Over the years, what started in 1978 as a gathering of six pharmacy students’ associations from six different countries (France, West Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Great Britain and The Netherlands) evolved and became gradually bigger. Following ANEPF’s invitation to their congress in Nancy, the main goal was to discuss the forthcoming European Community directives on the mutual recognition of Pharmacy diplomas within the European Community. Today we are proud to say that EPSA represents more than 160 000 students from 35 countries across Europe! But, the Association would never exist if not for its members! Every single pharmacy student is represented at the European level by EPSA, and nationally and locally by EPSA member associations. After 40 years of existence, EPSA totals 43 member associations, each one with a seat in EPSA’s General Assembly. General Assembly is held twice a year, during the Autumn Assembly and Annual Congress, where only 28 of those associations have voting rights. The collaboration between EPSA and its member associations is a crucial part of EPSA’s vision “to represent, reach and engage every single pharmacy student in Europe to collaborate on the development of the future of pharmacy and healthcare together”. Without such cooperation, it would not be possible to assess the needs, beliefs and thoughts of students all across Europe and the work developed within a team of 27 people would not reach our students and serve its purpose. 10
“Connection - it is the first word that comes to our minds when we think about EPSA. Connection of people and different pathways. EPSA is a puzzle which has been constructed over the years by volunteers who care about the future of the pharmacy students. Thank you, EPSA, for touching our lives!” Baran Arslan, MUPSA Turkey
“23 years ago, a group of enthusiastic Croatian students established CPSA, which very soon became a proud EPSA member. Why EPSA? Because it gives us the opportunity to get involved in a variety of valuable projects, meet pharmacy students from all around Europe and develop ourselves on both professional and personal levels, guaranteeing the best possible future of our noble profession. EPSA rocks!” Marin Tušinec, CPSA Croatia “EPSA has been one of the most exciting adventures for me and I am still discovering it. The opportunities provided by EPSA are too numerous to be counted. Besides the pharmacy studies, EPSA has taught me how to share and communicate, creating my own network from all over Europe. Long live EPSA !” Fatih Çolak, CIUPSA Cyprus “To ŠS SFD, EPSA represents a possibility of sharing ideas, creating memories and meeting people across the national borders. Through EPSA, ŠS SFD gained the ability to promote its projects internationally, increased students’ proactivity and addressed various pressing issues.” Tilen Kozole, ŠS SFD Slovenia “Throughout the years, AEFFUL has always been involved in EPSA and its activities. From our participation in General Assemblies to the public health campaigns that involve most of our students, the great relation between both associations is clearly visible.” Mariana Medeiros, AEFFUL Portugal 11
Newsletter & Publications EPSA from paper to pixel?
Publication: the act or process of publishing a printed work; the action of making something generally known - As EPSA kept growing through the years, amassing members and developing new projects and events, it’s no surprise that its publications did so, too! The first ever EPSA official publication was our Newsletter (NWL), written in 1979 by Anthony Amoureus, when EPSA was still known as the European Sub-Committee (ESC), and it is only fitting that you can read all about its history in the new edition of the NWL (Volume 24, Edition 3)! The Newsletter Volume 22, Edition 1 was the revamped and most updated design version of the Newsletter. It was in 2014, under the supervision of Svenja Laarhuis, Vice President of Public Relations 20142015, that the EPSA House Style was introduced, with its recognisable blue and orange colours! Curiosity: Do you know how many editions of the Newsletter have been published until now? With the new Version 24, Edition 3, we have counted 106! However, EPSA thought it was important to keep its members updated not only on its projects and events but also on current hot-topics that were being discussed at the European level, concerning our field of studies. “Dear reader, It is with honour and with a great pleasure that I present you the first EPSA Information Letter. These EPSA Information Letters will give you some European Pharmacy Information that I find especially interesting for you and all the European Pharmacy Students.” Laia Gàllego, Publications Officer 2005 12
And so, the Information Letter was created and quickly became another major publication of easy knowledge and accessible information for anyone, offering general topics in the European pharmaceutical world. The 1st edition of this online publication was created in 2005 by Laia Gàllego, Public Relations Officer (this position is now called Publications Coordinator). After 2010, this publication faded and so, Stefan Rack, Vice President of Public Relations 2013-2014, along with Maria Pace, Publications Coordinator 2013-2014, took upon themselves to create a new version of it called Monthly Dose! This publication is still ongoing and is now published once a month, reaching all our members with the help of our LSs that print it and hang it at their Universities! Then, the first edition of the EPSA Students Science Publication (ESSP) was created in 2013 bringing together student knowledge on a scientific level! It now counts 4 Volumes (with 3 editions each). It may be a recent publication, but it gives pharmacy students who have performed research the opportunity to publish their abstract and have it professionally reviewed by European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences (EUFEPS)! As you can see, we started by saying that publications were a “printed work”. However, this notion has become blurry nowadays and publications don’t only encompass printed work but also what we see on the screen. Times are changing and so is EPSA. We are adjusting our methods to cater to our growing audience. Maybe time will come when printed publications will become obsolete, replaced by faster information through a screen. We’ll have to wait and see. But there is something about holding a Newsletter and turning the pages with your hands. Don’t you think?
Let’s do this together! As one of the oldest EPSA projects, the precursor of the Twinnet project, the Group Exchange Project, was established in 1992. Initially, this was a database containing information on EPSA member countries, their faculties of pharmacy, pharmaceutical industries, hospital pharmacies and general information on hostel recommendations, tourist attractions and public transport. The aim of the Group Exchange Project was to promote contact between European pharmacy students and to ease the organisation of excursions to other member countries.
2017 “Twinnet is a great opportunity to meet new pharmacy students, learn more about their everyday life, visit new countries and get to know their culture. With this project EPSA provides all European pharmacy students with the possibility to expand their horizons.” Yuki Bacowsky, AFÖP Twinnet Coordinator 2015-2017, Austria
Parallel to the Group Exchange Project, a Twinning scheme was developed to foster bilateral exchange, especially between eastern and western European countries, with the aim of bringing east and west closer together. Twinned countries should primarily exchange knowledge and experiences, with the possibility of visiting each other. In 2001, the so-called “TWIN” project, was described as bilateral exchange programme designed to improve the cooperation between EPSA member countries. Its structure was highly similar to the current Twinnet project and encouraged member associations to organise an exchange programme for a group of students from another city while trying to cover the costs through acquiring sponsorships. The classic TWIN developed into a more complex concept in 2007, when an official Twinnet annual topic was chosen: “Drug abuse and Synthetic Drugs”. During each event, a questionnaire on the annual topic was shared with participants and the answers collected by EPSA. Today, 46 local faculties around Europe are involved in the Twinnet project and it is often pharmacy students’ first experience with EPSA. Twinnet has involved more than 1200 student experiences abroad and since 2012, over 80 Twinnet exchanges have been organised. 14
“I was lucky enough to organise a Twinnet last year. All the participants were very energetic and eager to join. I think the key for our amazing Twinnet with Freiburg was the vivacity of the people. Twinnets are a great way to interact with other pharmacy students and everyone should experience this project, at least once!” Simge Sarı, MUPSA Twinnet Coordinator 2015-2016, Turkey “Immersing yourself in a foreign fellow student’s daily life, finding good and kind people miles away from home, enjoying and experiencing another culture, having someone new to call a friend and precious memories - that is the magic of Twinnet.” Mina Grguri, PSANS Twinnet Coordinator 2015-2016, Serbia 15
Public Health and Social Services A playground for continuous learning
The history of public health campaigns and humanitarian projects in EPSA goes back to the Annual Congress (AC) which was held in Budapest, Hungary in 1994, when the EPSA Team had their first public health activity aside from IPSF. During this event, the public health activity consisted of sharing a questionnaire about sexually transmitted diseases with the participants. Ten years later, in 2004, a position for public health issues was created: Public Health Working Committee Director (WCD). Before this initiative, the public health issues were included in the EPSA General Assembly debates and the most known ones are: “Legalisation of Hard Drugs” (1995, Bordeaux, France) and “Pharmaceutical Care: Patient Follow-Up, Communication Skills of Future Pharmacists” (1998, Madrid, Spain). In the same year, the Humanitarian WCD position was created as well. The public health campaigns become official EPSA projects in 2007 during the Annual Congress held in The Hague, the Netherlands, where the members voted to organise campaigns with public health content at local level and the WCD had to provide them with methods, content and ideas. In 2008, EPSA called participants to visit a local orphanage where 30 participants gave toys to orphan children, in Novi Sad. In the same year, EPSA responded to the European Commission’s Green Paper “Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: Policy options at the EU level”. In 2009 and 2010, humanitarian projects are expanding and the most fruitful outcomes came from the collaboration with IPSF on Naema Project held in Uganda (2009) and Madrugada organised in Guinea-Bissau (2010). 16
In 2010, a well-known and effective campaign was created to raise awareness on tobacco use called “HELPing Hand” in Krakow, Poland. The “Social Services and Public Health Coordinator” position was born, incorporating the Public Health WCD and Humanitarian WCD portfolios. In 2011, EPSA started collaborating with EMSA on the Teddy Bear Hospital working group. The first EPSA webinar was organised in 2012 (in collaboration with GSK), promotion of healthy lifestyle was adopted as an EPSA internal rule and the first step in organising public health campaigns during EPSA events was made by holding sports activities for participants. The collaboration with Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN ) started and EPSA adopted a responsible drinking policy during its events. Still in 2012, EPSA organised the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) in collaboration with European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and this campaign became branded by EPSA. In 2015, EPSA shared the Alcohol-Drugs Interactions survey with its members and the results led to an EPSA-EMSA-APYN public health campaign. Also, two position papers were released: one on antibiotics use (with EMSA and EDSA) and one on vaccination. In September, the first #EPSAchallenge was promoted as part of celebrating “World Heart Day” and Teddy Bear Hospital became a mandatory session for the AA and AC. In February 2016, EPSA branded “Purple Week” for promotion of World Cancer Day Organisation and EPSA started using Twibbons, videos and infographics to illustrate its campaigns. SMART goals for public health campaigns were implemented for the mandate 2016-2017 and Mental Health joint campaign with IPSF had the biggest visibility among pharmacy students. Later on, in October 2016, EPSA released the first Vaccination Awareness Campaign in collaboration with Vaccines Today as a following action for Immunisation Week held in April 2016. The same year, EPSA implemented the online report submission of public health campaign outcomes as a general evaluation method.
Website and Social Media EPSA just a click away
As a form of comparison for you youngsters out there, in 1995 there still weren’t any iPhones or Androids. In fact, cell phones didn’t even have access to the internet and social media didn’t exist. Social media, in its present form, has been around for not that long and, although you can’t imagine living without it, many of us did. But before the concept of Social Media even existed, EPSA took its first steps over the World Wide Web during the mandate of 1995-1996, when the EPSA Chairperson was Christine Farnes, from Norway, creating our first online website with the URL http://www2.pharmaweb.net/epsa/ index.html. That year, EPSA also created its first e-mail address, EPSA@ pharm.uu.nl. Obviously, both are now things of the past. Social Media: We can’t ignore it anymore; we currently live in a virtual world. Everywhere you look, people are holding phones, tablets and even computers. Social media is not a fad, it is here to stay. From then on and after 2000, internet was everywhere with chat rooms and the first “Social Media Channels”, like MySpace and Hi5. It was in 2002 that EPSA decided to acquire a new domain for its website and create a complete new website where people could have quick access to information. And so, in the mandate of 2002-2003 the EPSA website with the URL www.epsa-online.org was launched! From then on, Social Media turned into a booming monster. In 2006, Facebook was made available to the public, and then other channels like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn began to appear.
Our presence over social media started to grow at an astonishing pace.
In 2010, the EPSA Blog was created to keep our members informed about everything that we were doing, projects, events, etc. In November 2010, EPSA had its first humble appearance on Facebook, with its post having... 1 like. “My aim was to increase the number of followers on the EPSA Facebook page to 4 500. At the moment we have 4 537 followers.” Charlene Galea, Vice President of Public Relations 2011-2012 At present, Facebook is one of our main sources of promotion and it counts 17,500 likes and our posts reach an average of 19 000 people per week! With all the changes over social media and the use of Facebook to promote EPSA projects and events, the website was completely revamped and it stayed like that until this year, when it was completely changed again to fit the EPSA House style! We cannot forget our presence on Youtube as well. Although our journey through Youtube wasn’t as smooth as we would have hoped, we now have an official Youtube channel (created during the mandate 2016-2017) with more than 2 000 views and where we stream all our events! However, we do challenge you to search for other EPSA videos that were uploaded by previous mandates and are still wandering around YouTube! “Looking back, it is amazing to see the changes in technology that have taken place in such a short space of time since the silver anniversary congress. Just ten years ago there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no iPhones, and no Skype! We mostly communicated via Yahoo groups!” - in 2012 Sean McAteer, EPSA Honorary Life Member Even though we cannot predict the future of social media, it is quite clear that it will continue. Humans are naturally social beings and with the ability to communicate with each other on a level that each person likes best, the more prevalent social media will become. 19
EPSA at the heart of Europe The establishment of a Permanent Office was one of the most important steps in EPSA’s path. Having a central base of action became an essential need after years of growing achievements in representation all across Europe. The first EPSA Headquarters in Leiden, at Stevendhof Institute for Pharmacy Practice Research (SIR), became official in the mandate of 1999-2000. On the 12th of December of 2000, Ema Isabel Paulino, then EPSA Secretary General, moved to the Netherlands to become the first EPSA EU Officer and commit one year of her life to the Association. The person living in the Permanent Office would not only have a 24/7 EPSA experience, but also assist a professional association in its daily work. Such collaboration with professionals became more and more important, not only to increase the professionalism of the association, but also to develop new and better projects. Over the years, partnerships with European institutions and industries were established, providing EPSA with the economic stability to grow and get its voice heard. “Setting up a Permanent Office was viewed as a meaningful step towards further establishing EPSA as a sustainable and consistent organisation. It allowed EPSA to build close relationships with other European organisations, and have a place to call “home”. Being Permanent Officer has positively changed the course of my professional life. It was an incredible experience in which I had the opportunity to meet people with whom I remain close friends with and still work on an international level.
Some years later, the Executive of 2004-2005 moved the Permanent Office to the heart of Europe, Brussels. Since then, EPSA’s official headquarters have been established in the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) and this collaboration has been the most fruitful partnership EPSA has ever made. By providing support, not only logistically but also by advising us, PGEU benefits from having an EPSA trainee to assist in the secretariat and offering a student’s perspective on raised matters. Being the EPSA Permanent Officer and intern at the PGEU provided me with a view on how professional organisations work, as well as a broader view on the policy topics under discussion at EU level. Having a presence in Brussels and working closely with its different institutional partners and EU policy-makers continually raised the recognition and credibility of EPSA to the point at which the organisation is currently. Guilherme Monteiro Ferreira, EPSA Honorary Life Member, Portugal Such a presence in Brussels has allowed EPSA to organise its event of excellence, the Annual Reception. Every year we gather around 100 participants in the European Parliament to present our point of view on a specific topic, as well as our developments, to our partners - from professional organisations to European Institutions, sponsors and other students’ associations. Today, what started as a pilot project with one officer has evolved significantly. Currently, EPSA has five team members in the so called “EPSA House” working for EPSA and establishing collaborations, not only with the PGEU but also European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), where we have two interns, and most recently, Medicines for Europe and UPIP-VAPI (Belgium Professional Association of Pharmacists working in the Life Science Industry).
Ema Paulino, EPSA Board of Trustees, Portugal 20
Individual Mobility Project Kickstarting careers In numbers: 63 IMP placements 26 companies/institutions 15 countries In 2007, the EPSA Individual Mobility Project (IMP) was founded by Boštjan Čeh, EPSA Student Mobility Officer 2007-2008. The project was defined as a European-wide project aimed at enabling students of pharmacy and recent graduates of pharmacy to undertake research- or work- based practice in companies and public institutions abroad for a period between 3-12 months. The IMP should improve pharmacy students’ understanding about the different international career opportunities that exist in the professional world and help them gain experiences to be more competitive when applying for those opportunities. IMP placements had to offer a solid professional experience for a pharmacy student to invest time of his/her faculty curricula to go abroad and to eliminate any concerns around lack of financial compensation during their IMP exchange abroad. From the perspective of the association, projects like IMP also had to be financially sustainable, whereby effort put behind finding partners, setting up IMP placements, enrolling and selecting pharmacy students for the IMP partner companies/ institutions should come at no additional cost, but should instead be paying off to EPSA.
The Central IMP Coordinator, a role fully devoted to establishment and running of IMP, was introduced to EPSA at the same GA. As the first Central IMP Coordinator, Boštjan Čeh worked to build the structure, launch the first IMP placements and lead the establishment of Local/ National IMP Coordinator roles. The actual launch of IMP was marked with securing the first placement at GSK Consumer Healthcare Headquarters in London, UK. Since then, 63 IMP placements have been secured in 26 different companies/institutions in 15 different European countries. In 2016, the EPSA Job Shop was launched as an expansion of the IMP because pharmacy students often struggle to find career opportunities abroad. Hence, the need was identified to gather these job opportunities in one central database - the EPSA Job Shop. The aim of the Job Shop is to bridge the gap between the students/recent graduates and organisations/ institutions and should serve as a platform for publishing internships, graduate programmes and entry-level positions that are of interest to EPSA members, as well as IMP placements.
“It is without a doubt that this project shall continue to grow and develop in the future and that learning from experience and listening to the needs of the fellow European students of pharmacy, its structure and consequently also structure of EPSA shall evolve further.” Boštjan Čeh, Student Mobility Officer 2007-2008
At the EPSA Annual Congress in Novi Sad, Serbia in April 2008, the EPSA General Assembly (GA) approved the Individual Mobility Project concept and structure as an official EPSA Project. This also led to a change in EPSA’s structure, as the new project was in need of a close coordination. 22
EPSA Lifelong Learning
Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching Learning is a process which happens across all settings and throughout one’s life. EPSA’s journey in the field of lifelong learning started in 2002, with the establishment of the Lifelong Learning Certificate (LLC). It’s aim was to highlight the importance of non-formal education and encourage students to become motivated to pursue external learning opportunities. The project was continuously improved and restructured throughout the years, serving as a tool for participants to record and document extracurricular activities gained outside of class by attending EPSA events, workshops, soft-skill trainings, but at the same time as a mean for member associations to showcase their educational events and gain EPSA’s accreditation for them. As the same experience can impact people in very different ways and produce different individual outcomes, in 2015 we saw the need to remove the focus from events and move it onto skills that people gain as a result of these experiences and so, the EPSA Lifelong Learning Programme was born. Now, 15 years since our first initiative was started, we are looking into new ways to expand this project and engage even more of our students, to ignite the spark of curiosity and set them on their own lifelong learning path!
The chemistry in EPSA Pharmacy students come into contact with science on a daily basis and science-related activities are now one of EPSA’s main educational topics. The journey began with the Science Day, in 2009. “During my mandate in the EPSA Team, an idea of establishing Science Day, as a core part of the EPSA Annual Congress, emerged. I was driven by an older project of a science club, however, I wanted to create an opportunity for young researchers to present their first scientific achievements to a greater audience of their European peers. I find that sharpening presentational skills is of a striking importance to build a set of soft skills. I am delighted that Science Day has been continuously developed by my successors, and now the best presenter is awarded with attendance to a EUFEPS (European Federation for Pharmaceutical Science) event.“ Stevan Aleksić, Pharmaceutical Sciences Working Committee Director 2008-2009 Another major project, the EPSA Students Science Publication (ESSP), was developed in 2013. “When I was a Liaison Secretary in 2012-2013, I noticed that there was no science-related side of EPSA. During one of the congresses, there were plenty of activities related to soft skills, but none dedicated to science. It was important that EPSA offered something for those who were just as interested in the hard skills. The ESSP was developed due to the lack of training in presentation of Scientific Research. My aim was to create something that could help many in the same situation as me and for the project to survive a couple of years for the students of Europe to use.” Rebwar Salar Nori Saleh, Science Coordinator 2013-2014
“Constant changes in healthcare industry require additional expertise from the ones we acquire while sitting in our classrooms. Lifelong learning is precisely defined as that “extra” knowledge that differentiates us as future healthcare professionals! “ Marina Knezović, Educational Affairs Coordinator 2013-2014 24
Other science-related activities had been developed as well and they have been gaining momentum. We hope to offer even more activities in the future. 25
EPSA Training Project Skills that matter
The Training Project was born in 2008, after Louise Jensen, a representative from EPSA at an IFISO event Leadership Summer School (LSS), decided to bring trainings to EPSA. Thus, the first steps of the EPSA Training Project were made. “As I returned, I had no doubt: like these other organisations, EPSA had to provide such amazing learning opportunities to our members. Therefore, the Executive drafted a plan to implement the new structure, beginning with establishing a new position: the Training Officer. Hence, from the Autumn Assembly 2008, the project became a reality.” Louise Winnecke Jensen, EPSA Honorary Life Member, Denmark Today, the Training Project counts more than sixty EPSA Trainers delivering several hundreds of hours of Trainings around Europe every year. Training New Trainers continues to be our most important event where we train new EPSA Trainers and guarantee they have all the skills necessary to become great Trainers. Nonetheless, we added other events in order to reach more students and ensure quality.
“Being a Trainer has given me a lot more than I could ever wish for and more than I think I can ever repay.” Sara Torgal, EPSA Trainer
In 2013, we started Train the Trainers, event dedicated solely to EPSA Trainers, allowing them to deepen their skills and share their knowledge and experiences. More recently, in 2015, we organised the first EPSA Training Week to raise awareness of soft skills among pharmacy students by engaging them with local EPSA Trainings, organising challenges and activities throughout the same week. We also started Trainers on Tour, an event that takes several EPSA Trainers on road, delivering EPSA Trainings to pharmacy students at different faculties and providing opportunities for pharmacy students that cannot attend our events. This year we revamped our claim for the inclusion of soft skills in the pharmacy curricula by releasing an important Position Paper on this matter. The EPSA Training Project continues to grow over its almost ten years of existence. We always kept our “quality over quantity” motto and our focus on soft skills. This allowed the EPSA Training Project to keep its high standards, so you can be sure that when you attend an EPSA Training, it will be a great learning experience and will contribute significantly to your personal development. The EPSA Training Project started as an idea after LSS. Today, it is one of the dearest EPSA Projects with EPSA Trainers from 23 countries, four different activities starting with ‘T’ (Training New Trainers, Train the Trainers, Training Week, Trainers on Tour), an EPSA Summer University half composed by EPSA Trainings and a lot of experience delivering high quality soft skills Trainings.
Once EPSA, always EPSA
Bringing students and professionals together
Throughout the years, EPSA has gained a lot from passionate, engaging and active people and it has proven that the contribution a member can have does not end with his graduation or a new job.
Following the expansion of the Alumni Project and the growth of both, the interest and the active role of these individuals, the Mentoring Project was founded briefly afterwards.
“The EPSA Alumni project was born in 2005 and at the time the idea was simple: to reconnect, strengthen and generate a network of people who contributed to EPSA in a number of ways, while at the same time creating a space for those individuals to support the Association and the students of today. After all these years, the network is growing and helping EPSA as promised: the Alumni Weekend, since the first one in 2007, is now an established event, celebrating past moments and projects, such as the EPSA Mentoring Project, which has delivered on the promise to effectively utilise Alumni to help guide students’ initial careers, amongst others.” João Duarte, EPSA Honorary Life Member, Portugal
The main purpose of the Mentoring Project is to establish a bond between the current professional and student worlds, in order to provide the latter with career guidance under an international perspective of development.
Today, the EPSA Alumni network counts more than 200 people who continue to participate in EPSA’s activities in a very significant, but special manner! As the Alumni network started to grow, the Project had to expand and many diverse means of communication and initiatives were developed! In addition to the famous Alumni Weekend, the current Alumni Project includes an Alumni Newsletter, an Alumni Advisory Board and an exclusive web page, which is currently being created. However, we should not forget that Alumni have been providing EPSA members with numerous educational opportunities in order to bring the profession closer to students, such as the noteworthy contributions to the Educational Programmes as speakers, being the driving force of the Chat with Professionals sessions, and even the Mentoring Project. 28
Through this project, EPSA aims to set up a platform that introduces a greater acquaintance of professional development in pharmacy for students on the most diverse areas of our profession. Throughout its annual editions, EPSA offers the applicants an opportunity to choose a mentor each of them would like to have, taking into consideration the scope of action of the mentor. “My personal interests in European Affairs made me apply for the EPSA Mentoring Project as I saw it as a unique chance to gain some inside knowledge on the work in EU Affairs as a pharmacist, something that cannot possibly be gained at University. After several online meetings with my mentor Guilherme, working as Manager European Government Affairs at GSK, I visited him in Brussels where he showed me around the European Parliament and where I could experience how living and working in Brussels as a pharmacist working in European Affairs feels like.” Jan de Belie, Mentoring Project participant, Belgium Today, the Mentoring Project has gained enough recognition and EPSA does not solely rely on the Alumni network! Thankfully, our external partners have started participating and contributing to the Project with professionals from their organisations or companies as mentors. 29
From history to tradition Annual Congress The beginning… The first EPSA event was in 1978, it was held in Nancy, France, even though EPSA was only recognised on paper in 1982. In 1980, EPSA starts organising its own congresses, before then the EPSA events were organised as parallel congresses of a member’s country. Topics: The most discussed topic when EPSA was recognised as an individual association was pharmaceutical education, this was because in the beginning, EPSA’s aim was to get more and more involved in the decisions around creating the new curricula for all European Union countries. The hot topics suggested were: “Methods of Teaching Pharmacy”, “Alternative Medicine”, “Generic Substitution, Social Pharmacy and Problem Based Learning” and “Quality in the Pharmaceutical Education”. Starting in 2000, the congress themes took a new shape and focused more on the evolution of pharmacy. Topics such as “Biotechnology”, “Pharmacoeconomics” or “Innovation drugs” increased the participation at EPSA events because they were issues that were not covered in the students’ ordinary curricula, so they wanted to expand their knowledge in this field. For the past five years, EPSA’s educational programme focuses on healthcare topics as a result of the continuously changing pharmacy field worldwide. Through these topics, EPSA encourages interprofessional collaboration, advocacy and multidisciplinary approach on health problems. Today – key facts: Annual Congress educational programme focuses more on universal approach of pharmacy topics in comparison to Autumn Assembly that targets more scientific topics. Annual Congress is the biggest EPSA event. From 70 participants, now the numbers have increased to 350. 30
Summer University The beginning… Summer University (SU) was the second EPSA event created for pharmacy students. The first one was organised in collaboration with EDSA (European Dental Students’ Association) in 1999, Zadar, Croatia. It was created in response to a need for interprofessional collaboration which was expressed by EPSA representatives at the time. Topics: The educational programme initially focused on general topics that have a connection with healthcare generally. The most common topics centred around: skin cancer, marketing and patient counselling. Nowadays, the topics debated at SU focus on having a different learning approach and gaining soft skills. Today – key facts: SU is a small event and for 80% of its participants it is their first EPSA event. It has a lighter educational programme that focuses on trainings. Participants have more time for networking. 31
Autumn Assembly The beginning… The EPSA Autumn Assembly (AA) was made possible through the collaboration with ESCP (European Society of Clinical Pharmacy). The first AA took place in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2004 and from 2008 EPSA has individual ownership of the event. Topics: Because of the collaboration with ESCP, the chosen topics have always had a more scientific basis. The topics approached during AA up to now have been linked with the following science: immunology, personalised medicine, therapeutic modelling, mental health. Today – key facts: AA is the second largest EPSA event and it takes place in October/November. The educational programme includes: symposiums, workshops, training, public health, science excursion etc. AA 2009 was the first EPSA-DIA symposium.
Annual Reception The beginning... Growing from being an annual meeting of the EPSA Team with the Board of Trustees and partners to present EPSA’s work and projects, the first EPSA Annual Reception was organised in 2010, in the European Parliament. Topics: The Annual Reception is always centred around a hot topic on the European level that is, at the same time, interesting for EPSA. Subjects approached until now were: patents, generics and counterfeits (2010), future roles of pharmacists (2011), active and healthy ageing (2012), access to medicines (2013), mobile health (2014), healthcare workforce (2015), pricing of medicines (2016) and finally the role of pharmacists in self-care as the topic of the Annual Reception 2017. Today – key facts: Today the AR is EPSA’s Event of Excellence gathering a very diverse audience consisting of representatives of professional organisations, European institutions, other student organisations, companies and pharmacy students travelling from all corners of Europe to Brussels. The 2017 edition gathered over 120 participants and was again preceded by a diverse side programme making it even more attractive for students to make the trip to Brussels. 33
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40 Years of Support We are all EPSA
“I thank the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) for their fortyyear commitment in engaging Europe’s pharmacy students and keeping them abreast of the latest EU-level policy developments and initiatives. It is vital that tomorrow’s pharmacists are fully involved in prevention, patient safety and in tackling major health threats such as antibiotic resistance.” Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety
“The foundations of today’s European Union were laid sixty years ago in Rome, making this landmark anniversary a perfect time for reflection – not only on the past, but on our future together. Now more than ever, we want to hear the voices of European citizens and particularly the voices of our young people. I would like to congratulate the EPSA as it celebrates its 40th anniversary and encourage you to get involved in the discussions”. Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
“EPSA is bringing together pharmacy students from all over Europe. It gives them the opportunity to discuss and to disagree. But most of all EPSA offers students the opportunity to voice their opinions and to enrich the debate about healthcare and the role of pharmacists. And that is an invaluable contribution! Happy 40th Birthday!” Lieve Wierinck, Member of the European Parliament (ALDE Group) “Congratulations to EPSA on your progress over the last 40 years! EAHP is pleased that our collaboration provides the opportunity to gain practical insight into the role of the hospital pharmacist! We look forward to our continued cooperation.” Joan Peppard, President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists 36
“Congratulations on 40 years of advocating for pharmacy students across Europe and for bringing them closer to European organisations. You represent the healthcare professionals of the future that will play a very big role in bridging patient needs with industry development. We welcome the cooperation with EPSA to improve the personal development of its members and generate new ideas for better access, better health for all Europeans.” Adrian van den Hoven, Director General, Medicines for Europe
“DIA and EPSA have a long and fruitful history that provided pharmacy students with excellent opportunities for a continuous learning. DIA would like to congratulate EPSA for their perpetual evolution and for the young energy that radiates from its projects and people.” Holger Adelmann, Drug Information Association EMEA SVP/Managing Director
“EPSA provides a platform to empower pharmacy students to come together and collaborate with stakeholders in identifying challenges and shaping developments so as to ensure a future pharmacy workforce which remains relevant according to the changing needs of society.” Lilian Azzopardi, President of the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy
“The European Industrial Pharmacists Group believes that students are the future of the pharmaceutical industry. EPSA is an important partner in activities bringing professionals and students together to discuss, share opinions and learn from each other, enabling us to face this future with confidence.” Claude Farrugia, President of the European Industrial Pharmacists Group 37
40 Years of Friendship
Because it is all about the people
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