2nd Edition 2020 - 2021
Welcoming Words. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Public Health & Advocacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 European Antibiotics Awareness Day 2020. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Intern News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Jess McNamara (Vice President of European Affairs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Andreea Iordache (Educational Affairs Coordinator). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 News from Brussels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Open letter from Medicines for Europe Executive Committee on the upcoming EU pharmaceutical strategy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Adequate minimum wages for workers across the Member States. . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The European Commission’s 2021 working plan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 News from our Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 National News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Breaking News for Polish Pharmacists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
French Pharma students advocating for e-health!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Irish National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Registration of the Flu Vaccination on the National Vaccination Record. . . . . . . . .
Meet the Advocacy Representatives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Kaloyan Staykov BPhD Germany. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Eimear Garvey IPSA Ireland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Aoife Huethorst IPSA Ireland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Our Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Dear Reader, Welcome to the second edition of the Policy Newsletter of the mandate 2020/2021. The purpose of this publication is to inform the EPSA Member Associations and the EPSA Team on the developments at the European level, especially in the Brussels environment and the activity there, as well as the policy and advocacy work being developed by the EPSA Interns in Brussels (EPSA Intern News). Although meeting in person is not possible during the pandemic, our Interns in Brussels attended online events on behalf of EPSA. In this edition you can read short testimonies from Jess McNamara - EPSA’s Vice President of European Affairs and Andreea Iordache - EPSA’s Educational Affairs Coordinator. This time you can also find out more about advocacy initiatives coming from seven EPSA Member Associations: PPSA Poland, ŠSSFD Slovenia, ANEPF France, BPhD Germany, LPSA Latvia, IPSA Ireland and GPSF Greece. At the 60th EPSA General Assembly, the name of the EduProf Platform was changed to the Advocacy Platform, thus EduProf Representatives became Advocacy Platform Representatives (APRs)! In this edition, you can meet three APRs: Kaloyan Staykov from BPhD Germany and Eimear Garvey & Aoife Huethorst from IPSA Ireland. Last but not least, my sincere thanks go to all the EPSA Team Members and Advocacy Platform Representatives who contributed to this edition.
Piotr Nawrocki Policy Affairs Coordinator 2020/2021
Public Health Intern News Jess McNamara & Advocacy (Vice President of European Affairs) European Antibiotics Awareness Day 2020
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the most pressing issues of the modern world. It affects human and animal health, food safety, the environment, the economy and vulnerable communities. AMR has always been one of the most important topics in EPSA’s Advocacy initiatives. In 2018 EPSA, EMSA (European Medical Students’ Association) and EDSA (European Dental Students’ Association) released a Joint Position Paper on the Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance.
I attended the event “The future of mental health, rights, and recovery in Europe” which was hosted by Mental Health Europe (MHE). To celebrate World Mental Health Day 2020, this event discussed European and national developments in the sector. The event provided an insight on the actions needed to implement change and protect the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities. It is beneficial that I could attend this event as an EPSA Intern at PGEU. It gave me an opportunity to learn about Mental Health, a new advocacy initiative for EPSA, and take note of important, relevant speakers for future EPSA Events. I was able to tweet about the events, tagging relevant Associations and speakers, which raised visibility for EPSA. I was also able to ask the speakers questions on Slido, which other participants could show interest in. By increasing EPSA’s visibility, we can collaborate with stakeholders at the European level more easily. MHE retweeted some of our tweets, which indicates that we can reach out to them to propose some collaborations. I believe that this is one of the main ways we can push forward with EPSA’s Advocacy and bring students closer to European initiatives.
Every year EPSA gets involved in European Antibiotic Awareness Day, organised by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Last week, from 17th to 18th November we carried out a set of activities. First one was the Online Discussion Forum hosted by Luis Rhodes Baiao (AESGP, Governmental and Public Affairs Manager). Pharmaceutical, Medical and Dental students gathered together to discuss a pressing issue that AMR is. We had an opportunity to debate on the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, antibiotics overprescribing and the devastating impact of antibiotics in the environment. The next day (18th November) EPSA carried out a Public Health Campaign emphasising the importance of Antimicrobial Stewardship and an integrated healthcare response to AMR and the urgent need to act today to protect the antibiotics of the future. In the evening we held a webinar “How AMR is tackled in Community Pharmacy?”. Jan de Belie (Pharmaceutical Group of European Union) presented an overview of European Institutions’ action against AMR and shared best practices from community pharmacies across Europe. Darragh O’Loughlin (Irish Pharmacy Union) demonstrated how pharmacists contribute to flu vaccination since 2011. Our last guests - Catarina Nobre (National Association of Pharmacies) and Jorge Batisa (Portuguese Pharmaceutical Association) were speaking about the role of Portuguese pharmacists in the fight against AMR and the responsible use of medicines. EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
News from Brussels
Andreea Iordache (Educational Affairs Coordinator) On the 12th and 13th of October, I attended the EFGCP&DIA Better Medicines for Children Conference. The event was organised to celebrate 13 years since the EU Paediatric Regulation came into force and its aim was to encourage different stakeholders to identify solutions for optimising childrens’ access to new medicines. Participating in this event on behalf of EPSA offered me a broader insight into the current trends in the paediatric healthcare field, thus allowing me to better address this topic in the initiatives developed within the Educational Department and in my representation activities as a Brussels-based Intern. I was also able to observe how a professional event takes place in a virtual environment, which will be extremely beneficial for the upcoming Online Activities that EPSA will develop.
Open letter from Medicines for Europe Executive Committee on the upcoming EU pharmaceutical strategy
During the event, I posted Tweets with the main outcomes of the sessions and tagged relevant associations and speakers, thus enhancing EPSA’s visibility at the European level and opening the way for future collaborations.
EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
The upcoming Pharmaceutical Strategy gives a chance to ensure the security of supply and to reinforce API manufacturing in Europe while improving equitable access to medicines. On 19th October, Medicines for Europe released an open letter in which the Executive Committee calls on the European Commission for an efficient and effective pharmaceutical strategy to deliver on equitable access and to secure medicines manufacturing and supply chains. They believe that the consolidation of medicine supply sources makes health systems vulnerable. A solution to this might be implementing guidelines on
medicines procurement in order to ensure that the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) criteria are respected at the national level to revert this trend. They indicated that the investments in the digitalisation of the medicines regulatory system are necessary for the efficient transfer of information between regulatory authorities and industry, which will help to prevent, monitor and mitigate shortages of medicines. In September, EPSA submitted a response to Public Consultation on a new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe. The European Commission is going to release the draft of the Strategy on 24th November 2020.
Adequate minimum wages for workers across the Member States Minimum wages exist in all EU Member States (MS). In 21 MS, minimum wages are statutory while in 6 MS (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Sweden), they are regulated by collective agreements. However, in the majority of MS, workers are affected by insufficient adequacy in this matter. On 28th October, the European Commission
proposed a directive which ensures that the workers in the EU have guaranteed minimum wages that allow them to have a decent living. The proposal will bring positive social impact and economic benefits. This will help to reduce wage inequality (gender pay gap as well), increase the motivation to work, sustain domestic demand and protect employers by
ensuring fair competition. EPSA is going to submit a feedback response to the newly released draft initiative on Adequate Minimum Wages by the European Commission. In order to collect proper information, a survey on Pharmacy Internship Payments was created and shared with Member Associations of EPSA
News from our Members The French Students Mobilised
The European Commission’s 2021 working plan On 19th October the European Commission adopted its working plan for 2021. Its aim is to “make Europe healthier, fairer and more prosperous while accelerating its long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age.” The plan includes a European Green Deal which aims to reduce emissions by at least 55%. It will lead to Europe becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Commission will introduce a roadmap of 2030 digital targets that include a European e-ID and an update of the new industrial strategy for Europe. The working plan also proposes an action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, ensures access to health and education for all children and strengthens the Economic and Monetary Union. The Commission will urge to build a stronger European Health Union and establish a new agency for biomedical advanced research and development. Last but not least, a new strategy for the future of Schengen will be presented. EPSA submitted a response to the Roadmap for Consultation on ”Achieving the European Education Area”. It included the importance of Mobility, Soft Skills, Lifelong Learning and eHealth in the education of future pharmacists. In September EPSA also released the Position Paper on “Pharmaceuticals in the Environment & its Education in
On October 12, the hackathon “Reinvent your pharmacy” organised by ANEPF ended. This second edition carried out over one month, brought together 38 participants for a total of 7 teams. This event was an opportunity to create innovative projects to reinvent pharmacy through digital technology. The winners developed instant messaging between coordinated care structures and liberal healthcare professionals on a national scale to facilitate the patient’s care journey. The following month, another Hackathon was organised, but this time around a major public health issue: Antimicrobial Resistance. For such an important subject, it was necessary to set up an interprofessional and cross-border project. Indeed, it brought together ANEPF (Pharmacy students), ANEMF (Medicine students), and ASEP (Swiss Pharmacy students). This competition uniting over 300 students let students develop a strategy to tackle AMR and create a poster for a large scale prevention campaign that will happen all around France. A MOOC, including the testimony of many professionals such as HCWH (Health Care Without Harm), EPSA, The french ministry, veterinarians, etc. was made public to discuss the current situation in Europe concerning AMR, and the solutions integrating a One Health vision The European Sustainable Development Week took place from 19 to 26 September. For the occasion, ANEPF organised for the french pharmacy students various tutorials
Pharmacy Curricula” which is linked to the European Green Deal. The Paper emphasises the devastating impact of pharmaceuticals entering the environment and what measures should be taken to reduce this problem.
EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
on the eco-responsible daily life and e-conferences notably on ecological transition policies or a workshop debate. It was an opportunity to address multiple themes such as waste, packaging, unused drugs, endocrine disruptors, pollution, waste management and many others. It was also the time to realise that training for (future) health professionals is necessary, and such awareness must be provided in the initial training. Finally, ANEPF is very proud to launch its Correspondence Project: SEP 2.0, that aims to develop exchanges between pharmaceutical students around the world! During several months, over 280 students divided into small groups will be discussing contemporary issues and creating new bonds that will lead, we hope, to some real exchanges shortly! Chloé LEBBOS, VP European Affairs and Nina GROULT, VP International Affairs
Strengthening LPSA initiative: to of community pharmacies and the allow students to sell OTC medicines role of BPhD BPhD e. V. has taken part in discussions on a new Act of the Federal Republic of Germany, aiming at strengthening the community pharmacies. The voice of the pharmacy students was represented by our Health Policy Officer - Ilias Essaida. The German Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPhD e. V.) highlighted the need for a new financial model for the support of the community pharmacies which considers the need of the corresponding remuneration of pharmaceutical services delivered in the community pharmacy. Furthermore, we shared our concerns about the insufficient preparation of last years’ pharmacy students during their mandatory internship in the community pharmacy and emphasised the importance of a well-organised quality internship for all. Kaloyan Staykov, Liaison Secretary of BPhD Germany
In June 2020, LPSA President K. Eiduks together with Student Union of Latvia and Riga Stradiņš University Student Council started to discuss this initiative in the working group. In Latvia, we have 2 colleges, where students can become a “Pharmacist Assistant”. They study for 2.5 years. The Pharmacist Assistant can dispense OTC and prescription medicines like pharmacists. There are not any differences in daily tasks between Pharmacists and the assistants, besides the fact that the Head of the pharmacy can only be someone with a Pharmacist degree. After 3 study years in university, students are not allowed to sell medicines because they have not learned pharmacotherapy. During our studies and working in the community pharmacy, our duties include opening boxes from pharmaceutical wholesalers, cleaning shelves and checking expiry dates. In August, the working group wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education and Science. In September, it was sent to ministries. Now we have received an answer. They suggested contacting the Pharmacists Society of Latvia. They also stated that professional standards are reviewed every 5 years. It took place in Riga, Latvia. Elīna Grandāne, LS and Advocacy Platform Representative of LPSA Latvia
EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
ŠSSFD advocating on Mental Health Many variable factors contribute to the growing burden of mental disorders in Slovenia, such as stress, anxiety, depression and prominent public health problems (suicide and harmful use of alcohol). Stigma also presents one of the biggest issues we need to tackle, as it is deeply rooted in our behaviour. Consequently, fewer people seek appropriate medical help, as they are afraid to admit to the problems. There is still significant lack in research, strategies, policies and programmes to prevent mental disorders, however, improvements are seen in the rise of the public health campaigns, educational lectures and workshops. ŠSSFD is aware that to a great extent, mental disorders are shaped by the social, economic, and physical environment in which each individual lives. We believe step-by-step changes can be made by educating people about care for mental health. In the past, we have already held lectures focusing on depression and Public Health Campaigns on Mental Health. This year we have organised a lecture where we have discussed the burnout syndrome with its increasing prevalence in the modern world. We have also written our own policy statement, addressing this issue, which we want to use to advocate our opinion. In the future, we plan to educate younger generations about the importance of good mental health. Furthermore, we want to pursue a stronger collaboration with other organisations and professional entities, as everyone’s contribution is essential in order to properly promote mental health. Nejc Ajlec, ŠSSFD Observational Board
Will the interns also get free access to IPSA Member News flu vaccines? Flu season has always been challenging for the community pharmacists across our country. Fall 2020, with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, undoubtedly remains very intensive for the pharmacy staff. This year, the Polish Health Minister has announced support for the workers of pharmacies, including pharmacists and technicians, who were provided with free flu vaccines. We find vaccination the best way to protect healthcare workers and patients at the same time by building herd immunity. Thus, we decided to take an initiative and write an open letter to the Ministry of Health to ask for free access also for 6th-year pharmacy interns, who started their last semester in October. ‘Students during the unpaid internship have direct contact with tons of patients. Thus they are at the same risk. Their duties are similar to technicians’ and pharmacists’ who work in the same place with many patients, this is why they require the same protection.’ - Karol Zakrzewski, the Spokesperson of PPSA. Our letter was shared in the brand press and in the newsletter of the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber. On Facebook, we reached over 8000 people. Including the reach of the press - we assume that the number is even higher. Will we get a response from the Ministry? We can’t answer this question. However, with this letter, we’ve made our first step in raising voice in public health problems as the society of Polish pharmacy students. We believe that with this initiative, we started building the pharmacy of tomorrow in Poland. Joanna Niewińska, PPSA Vicepresident for International Affairs
In 2015, the new MPharm degree was introduced in Ireland, replacing the old system. This meant professional placement would be carried out as four months in 4th year and eight months in 5th year. Upon introduction, it was announced that this work would be unpaid and fees for the new Master’s programme would almost treble in price For years, the professional placement was paid so, suffice to say, this made the Pharmacy Students of Ireland disheartened. Following years of meetings with no improvements made, a final decision was made. The Pharmacy Students Campaign began. The three Schools of Pharmacy, RCSU, UCC and TCD along with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) protested these changes and successfully won our petition. The unpaid work policy was lifted. It is now individual pharmacy groups and businesses’ responsibility to consider paying their pharmacy student interns. IPSA is continuing to fight on behalf of Irish Pharmacy Students to ensure all students will enter into a paid placement during their 4th and 5th years of the MPharm Programme. IPSA also wrote a position paper in support of students undertaking their 5th-year placements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for shorter placement time in exceptional circumstances, along with social media campaigns to support pharmacy students throughout lockdowns. This position paper was accepted and enforced, cutting the minimum timeline from 8 months to 6 months with flexibility in regard to the amount of days/hours were to be spent on placement, time allowed for sick days and flexible assignment dates. IPSA Committee Members are continuing to meet and liaise with
the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU). Our President and Vice President of Internal Affairs are now sitting on the IPU Employee Pharmacists’ Committee. IPSA has also called for Freedom of Information Requests from the three Schools of Pharmacy regarding their meetings and decisions on MPharm Fees and is awaiting a response. The USI has recommended that now is a good time to start campaigning again due to increased positive response in the community and Irish media towards pharmacists working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have allowed us to use their umbrella #educationforall for IPSA’s campaign. We will meet with them again soon when we have responses from the Freedom of Information Requests. Aoife Huethorst, VP External Affairs IPSA, LS and Advocacy Platform Representative & Eimear Garvey Secretary IPSA, Advocacy Platform Representative
French Pharma students advocating for e-health!
ANEPF is expanding the proposals of its contribution “Digital at the Service of the Pharmaceutical Industry” with a focus on telehealth. It includes a study on digital healthcare in certain European countries where e-health is being deployed. In addition, concrete simulations illustrate the proposals in order to best integrate and solve the real problems in the field. Healthcare systems vary from one country to another, but the issue of e-health is now being addressed in all European countries. However, we are seeing different speeds in the deployment of digital health, with cutting-edge systems such as the one in Estonia.
Breaking News for Polish Pharmacists
A study of other countries deploying e-health, such as Finland and Portugal, shows that e-prescription (99% for Portugal and Estonia), teleconsultation and tele-expertise, or a platform collecting patient data and enabling them to communicate with healthcare professionals, are very often present. Finally, the presence of connected objects in the patient’s journey, particularly chronic ones, is widespread and provides a better understanding of the disease. Among the common obstacles to e-health, there are interoperability and changing practices for healthcare professionals. This leads to the need for acculturation and training around digital health.
28th October will be a remarkable day for all the Polish pharmacists. During the XX session of the Sejm* of the Republic of Poland, members of Parliament voted in favour of adopting the act on the profession of pharmacists which will regulate the pharmacy profession in Poland.
Today, France is speeding up to catch up in the field of e-health. Observing what is being done abroad means avoiding making the same mistakes. The profession of pharmacist is evolving and the need for patient support is increasingly important given the evolution of patient profiles. Tomorrow’s pharmacist will accentuate his role of guiding and accompanying the patient in his care thanks to his expertise. We also wanted to translate our contribution into English to make it accessible to students in Europe, in the hope of creating a movement of common reflection around e-health topics.
This moment is historical for us - after 30 years of waiting, today was the biggest step to the equality of the pharmaceutical profession among other medical professions.
Chloé LEBBOS, VP European Affairs and Nina GROULT, VP International Affairs of ANEPF France
Now, the act goes to the Senate** which has 30 days to amend the regulation. The Senate can approve the act or make the amendments which have to be accepted by voting. When the act is approved by the Senate, the President of the Polish Republic has 21 days to sign the act. Afterwards, it is published in the Journal of Laws and can be implemented. There is still a long way to go, however, the crucial step was made. For students, it creates new opportunities, as well as for study programs which can focus more on pharmaceutical care related courses. Pharmaceutical care still requires many regulations to be fully implemented in our country. PPSA believes that with the new regulations, pharmacists achieved the next milestone in improving the healthcare system in Poland.
* Lower House of the Parliament ** Upper House of the Parliament Joanna Niewińska, PPSA Vice-president for International Affairs
EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Irish National News
Since 2011, pharmacists in Ireland are designated in law to provide seasonal influenza vaccination services in pharmacies. In 2015, this legislation was amended to permit pharmacists to supply and administer pneumococcal polysaccharide and herpes zoster (shingles) vaccines. For the seasonal influenza vaccination in 2020/2021, pharmacists were also permitted to supply and administer the vaccine to children from 6 months and older, along with administering the influenza nasal spray, suspension to children and adolescents from two years old. An interesting update, as a result of the COVID-19 - in October 2020 the Minister for Health amended legislation to allow trained pharmacists to supply and administer the influenza vaccine at a suitable and appropriate place, within or offsite from the retail pharmacy premises for example; a person’s car or home, schools or community halls.
Meet the Advocacy Representatives
These measures were put in place to support the healthcare system and reduce vaccination pressures in other areas of primary care. Free vaccination services were also extended to include more age and at-risk groups. However, there is now a supply shortage, so certain risk groups are prioritised. Following an increasingly vital role in healthcare, showcased and reported in surveys during the pandemic, Irish community pharmacists are lobbying for a reformed role in the Irish healthcare system.
Kaloyan Staykov, BPhD Germany
Darragh O’Loughlin Secretary-General of the IPU stated that pharmacists are now urging Government to deliver on their promise on the Programme for Government on committing more comprehensive pharmacy services, to reform and modernise healthcare as pharmacists are a key part of the solution.
Aoife Huethorst, IPSA Ireland
Aoife Huethorst, VP External Affairs IPSA, LS and Advocacy Platform Representative & Eimear Garvey Secretary IPSA, Advocacy Platform Representative
Registration of the Flu Vaccination on the National Vaccination Record
The Greek Ministry of Health decided to establish the National Vaccination Record, in an effort to address the need for a proper recording of vaccinations in Greece. Furthermore, according to Greek Law, from 2020 and on, Greek Pharmacists are officially authorised to administer the flu vaccine. As a result, Greek Pharmacists will also be able to have access to the National Vaccination Record. This is of critical importance, for the data that are required by the Health Policy of Greece. The contribution of Pharmacists helps with the proper recording of vaccinations and not just with their proper prescription. This data will be valuable for research on this year’s seasonal flu epidemic and the conduct of precise conclusions. Thus, Greek Pharmacists get to play a major role in the Greek Health System. Last but not least, this amendment does not add any unnecessary bureaucratic procedures to a Greek Pharmacy’s daily routine.
Eimear Garvey, IPSA Ireland
George Metaxotis, Liaison Secretary and Advocacy Platform Representative of GPSF Greece EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Kaloyan Staykov BPhD Germany
Eimear Garvey IPSA Ireland Tell us a bit about yourself
Tell us a bit about yourself
What are the main gaps that you have identified in pharmaceutical education in your country?
Pharmacy is a fast-changing and developing I am a second-year pharmacy student at the discipline and pharmacy education must keep University of Heidelberg. Since July 1st 2020, I up with this tempo. In some areas such as am also part of the Board of BPhD e. V. in the pharmaceutical biology and clinical pharmacy, position of EPSA LS. I am very happy with my there are certain discrepancies between decision to study pharmacy as it challenges education and the needs of society. How do you think student-led me every day
What do you like most about being an Advocacy Platform Representative?
advocacy can play a role in the decisions of policy makers?
Working on and properly promoting position The Advocacy Platform provides a unique papers as well as participating in public opportunity to share advocacy projects consultations are some of the most efficient and initiatives concerning pharmacy. As an ways, as far as I am concerned. Advocacy Representative, I am happy to What inspires you the most? contribute to the knowledge transfer and to share good practices with the other Advocacy When I see the positive outcomes of long Representatives in Europe. The highlight of advocacy work. the platform for me is the Advocacy Platform Where do you see yourself in 10 Meetings as they always happen in a very years? friendly and productive atmosphere. I could see myself in the industry or in science.
What are the main topics that your What is your favourite EPSA association covers on a national memory? level? As I am very new to EPSA and under
the BPhD Germany tries to gather and then express pandemic circumstances I have not experienced the opinion of pharmacy students to almost even one EPSA event so far. every topic relevant to pharmacy. For instance, we strive to change the licensing regulations What advice would you give to for pharmacists, participate in public debates, other students that are interested collaborate with the Chamber of community in advocacy? pharmacists and much more. advise them to not underestimate How did you become interested or Ithewould power of one position paper or a public active in advocacy? consultation they took part in because the When I was elected for EPSA LS, I was opinion of young people is being heard. Having automatically the 1st Advocacy Representative this in mind I would encourage them to go of our association. ahead and work on advocacy initiatives. EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION 14
My name is Eimear, I’m 22 and I’m in fourthyear pharmacy in Trinity College Dublin. This year I am the secretary for IPSA Ireland.
What do you like most about being an Advocacy Platform Representative?
I love hearing what other members are up Where do you see yourself in 10 to, what they care about. I love learning years? about other countries and other students’ I don’t know! I know pharmacy has many experiences. options and avenues to explore. I’d love to What are the main topics that your gain as much experience as possible, travel the world and work abroad. association covers on a national
What is your favourite EPSA memory?
IPSA has a couple of projects at the minute. Recently, our master’s fees increased I’m new to EPSA this year so I don’t have any significantly from our student contribution yet, but I look forward to making some this of €3,000 to approximately €8,000. Our main year! focus at the minute is raising awareness to reverse this action. We also have campaigns What advice would you give to focusing on Covid response and mental health. other students that are interested
How did you become interested or in advocacy? active in advocacy? If you’re interested I initially became class representative for my year, and after 2 years in this role, I became the school representative on the school committee and student union. I realised I loved getting to know and helping students in all years from all backgrounds, and voicing their opinions and concerns.
in advocacy - go for it! I find there are many ways to be an advocate these days, especially with social media, and if you’re not sure, giving it a try is no harm, to see what you think - that’s how I ended up here.
What inspires you the most?
I once had a teacher who would tell us “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. People who try, regardless of lack of experience or skill inspire me most. I’ve known such people, in my family, friends, class and hometown. I am a big believer in just giving something a go. As my granddad used to say - if you’re not in it, you can’t win it!
Aoife Huethorst IPSA Ireland Tell us a bit about yourself
Hello! My name is Aoife Huethorst and I am 24 years old. I am a 5th-year MPharm student studying at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. I am from (West) Cork, Ireland which is a very picturesque green fields and sandy beaches part of the country, but I live in Dublin for college and placement. I have been involved in IPSA before as Twinnet Coordinator and the second Advocacy Platform Representative (APR), and I am delighted to be VP of External Affairs for IPSA, and Liaison Secretary and APR for EPSA this year!
for my year of pharmacy in the first year, and then again when I became a committee member of the RCSI Students Union the following year, and President of RCSI Pharmacy Society after this. These roles showed me the benefits of being an advocate for students, which allowed What do you like most about me to fulfil a role in IPSA last year - Twinnet being an Advocacy Platform and Advocacy Representative. The Students Representative? Campaign against Unpaid Placements, where Advocacy Platform gives a fantastic we got to march the streets in our lab coats, opportunity to be a part of real change in and having a successful outcome also made pharmacy education. It is a great platform to me become even more interested in advocacy. communicate with other pharmacy students I really enjoy helping students to ensure that to discuss ideas and initiatives and advocacy they are receiving all opportunities that are issues with each other. It is wonderful to be available to them or that should be available involved on such a high level with EPSA and to them. the EC and I am looking forward to the year What are the main gaps that you ahead!
What are the main topics that your have identified in pharmaceutical education in your country? association covers on a national I think in Ireland we have a very comprehensive level? pharmaceutical education covering all topics PSA focuses mainly on issues that affect Irish pharmacy students such as the new MPharm Programme which involved unpaid placement and increased Masters Fees. We also work on employment issues for the pharmacy graduates that we also represent, along with other topics that affect everyone on a whole such as mental health, soft skills and creating valuable resources for students.
ranging through hospital, community and industry pharmacy. I don’t think that I can comment on any gaps that Ireland has in their education, only maybe that the three Schools of Pharmacy all have different ways of running their Curriculum, and we all learn different things at different times, so maybe this could be more streamlined. Some colleges have more lectures on things like pharmacy business and How did you become interested or industry which I think all of the three schools would benefit from. It would be also beneficial active in advocacy? to learn more about International Law in I think I became interested and active in Pharmacy too for people who may consider advocacy when I became class representative moving abroad. EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION 16
How do you think student-led advocacy can play a role in the decisions of policy makers?
I think that not only in Ireland as a result of our successful Advocacy Campaigns thus far that all involved policy makers making changes to their decisions, but also worldwide, it is evident that student-led advocacy initiatives are of crucial importance. I think that students should play more of an initial role in decisions of policy makers so that changes do not have to be made after the fact.
What inspires you the most?
This is a tough one to answer, as there are a lot of inspiring people around me. I love to take inspiration from every opportunity and person that gives me inspiration and use that going forward in every aspect of my life! Also, what mainly inspires me in pharmacy is the opportunity that we will have every day to improve peoples’ health and to develop healthcare.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Honest answer - I don’t know. I have a lot of different possible plans for my future. I have a pipeline dream of one day owning my own pharmacy business. In the meantime, I hope to continue advocacy work throughout my career as a pharmacist. I am looking forward to starting work in a community pharmacy, but a hospital pharmacist role also appeals to me. I want to also work with mental health advocacy issues as this is a topic close to my heart, and I hope to make the link stronger with the pharmacists’ possible role in this.
What is your favourite EPSA memory?
EPSA has provided so many great memories, and many more to come. I think the main thing is getting to meet so many new wonderful people all across the world, and of course attending my first GA as LS this mandate!
What advice would you give to other students that are interested in advocacy?
Go for it! It’s such an amazing opportunity to take, and will give you more skills and experiences that you can imagine!
VP European Affairs
Policy Affairs Coordinator 2020/21 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President of European Affairs 2020/21 email@example.com
EUROPEAN PHARMACEUTICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION