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bringing pharmacy, knowledge and students together Volume 19 | Edition 2 | February 2012

Future of pharmacy Education Where are we heading to? One for all and all for one BPhD Germany

Alumni Corner Meet Michael Gafà

this newsletter is produced by EPSA and is distributed to all EPSA members, national pharmaceutical students’ organisations, faculties, oficial bodies and sponsors

European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Oral Health in Europe The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe seeks a common European approach towards education, prevention and access to better oral health in Europe. Its mission is to promote oral health and the cost effective prevention of oral diseases in Europe, to strengthen the evidence-based case for European policy action on oral health while positively profiling the role of prevention by routine oral hygiene practices, including the use of fluoride containing toothpaste, inter-dental cleaning, mouthwashes, sugar-free chewing gum and regular dental check-ups. The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe is a joint initiative of the European Association of Dental Public Health (EADPH), the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE), the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programs, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and the Council of European Chief Dental Officers (CECDO).

â–ˇ Please visit our website at

Table of contents and Editor’s words Presidential Words


Public Health - Active and Healthy Aging


Report about the WHSS


Have you ever dreamed of studying abroad?


8th EPSA Autumn Assembly in Birmingham


Free movement of pharmacists


Future of Education


Training Topic - Rock the stage!


One for all and all for one - BPhD Germany


Food supplements: fact or myth?


StopWEEDream - a Quatrino project


Brussels - the center of Europe


IMP coordinator of the year - Gabriela Valentova


Inter-professional education


EPSA’s favourite LS - Katrine Schuster


Alumni Corner - Meet Michael Gafá


Educational Advocacy in France


Contact Information


Science - Monoclonal Antibody Technology


Dear reader, Pharmacists are fundamental players in meeting the needs of the society in which they practice both at an individual patient or consumer level, as well as in a broader sense at the population level. National and societal needs and priorities vary from country to country with many factors accounting for this diversity including cultural, historical and geographical factors. Pharmacy education must ensure that the present and future needs of society are met. This Newsletter edition focuses on different aspects of pharmacy education. What are French students doing to help improve their education? How is EPSA representing the students’ voice on a European level? Is it possible that pharmacists and physicians learn together to help improve patient care?

Why should we include soft skills training as part of our curriculum? Find all this, together with regular features, in this newsletter edition. I would like to thank all those who contributed to this Newsletter, especially to our Design Oficer, Stefan Rack. Yours in EPSA,

Charlene Galea EPSA Vice-President of Public Relations


Presidential words Dear EPSA friends, It is my honour to present you with the second edition of the EPSA Newsletter for the mandate of 2011/2012. The last issue of the EPSA Newsletter was published in time for the 8th EPSA Autumn Assembly which was held in Birmingham. This event brought new and enthusiastic participants to EPSA. And in return, EPSA offered education, networking, fun, and of course, its EPSA Spirit. By this time, we also had the appointment of our new Vice-President of Public Relations Charlene Galea, who is responsible for this issue of the Newsletter, which I’m sure you’ll ind quite interesting. During the 42nd EPSA General Assembly, important and constructive decisions were made in order to keep our association with the eyes on the future and with the objective of providing as much as possible to all the pharmacy students all over Europe. In November, EPSA was also represented at the World Healthcare Students’ Symposium, a joint initiative of healthcare students associations. As one of the main goals, this project intends to make the students aware of how important cooperation between the different healthcare professions is. In December, we also held the 4th EPSA Executive Meeting, in Portugal, and we started the planning of what I personally consider EPSA’s event of Excellency. I’m referring to the EPSA Annual Reception, which will take place on the 6th of March at the European Parliament in Brussels. This year we have invited four


different Members of the European Parliament and we will be tackling the subject of Active and Healthy Ageing; a topic that is extremely relevant and important for us as future healthcare professionals. One of EPSA’s objectives is to develop new and interesting educational projects. From health campaigns to education related projects, we have concrete ideas in our pipeline. We believe that when these will be implemented, pharmacy students as well as society in general will beneit. To conclude, let me congratulate the EPSA Team for the results and work that has been done until now. With this short inal stretch ahead of us until the Annual Congress in Istanbul, it’s the time for us to take the chance and develop what we still have in our minds for the future of EPSA, for our students! Yours in EPSA,

Guilherme Monteiro Ferreira EPSA President

The World Healthcare Students’ Symposium 2011 The fourth World Healthcare Students’ Symposium (WHSS) was held in Prague from the 18th to the 23rd of November 2011. This prestigious event targeted at students of different healthcare disciplines from the whole world, was organized with the aim of educating students of all healthcare professions in multidisciplinary cooperation, understanding and effective mutual communication.

During the symposium, students had the opportunity to attend and participate in lectures, workshops, and also a poster competition. The underlying theme was a commitment to patient safety and how each of the professions has its roles, responsibilities and also relationship with other healthcare professionals. Other topics discussed were the multi-professional approach to pharmacovigilance, risk management and new drugs and technologies.

This would ultimately help prepare them for a career of professional healthcare specialists. The main goal of the congress was to bring students together to debate the possibilities of improving inter-professional communication and solving problematic issues related to public health and patient safety. The original idea of organizing a students’ healthcare symposium was raised by Joint Working Group, consisting of representatives of EPSA (European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association), IPSF (International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation), IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students’ Association) and EMSA (European Medical Students’ Association). Last year, IADS (International Association of Dental Students) also joined the working group. The irst WHSS took place in Malta in 2005. Since then, WHSS has been held every two years (2007 – Portugal, 2009 – Egypt) to inspire and inform students about the beneits of the integration of different spheres of healthcare professions. The fourth WHSS was held in the Czech Republic at Charles University in Prague and organized by Czech Pharmaceutical Students’ Association with the help of members of the Union of Pharmacy Students (USF) and IFMSA CZ. More than 300 students from 45 countries worldwide were hosted, bringing pharmacy, medicine, nursing, dentistry and biomedicine together.

A cultural and social programme was undoubtly an integral part of the congress. Our guests could enjoy the opening ceremony in an ancient large auditorium of Charles University, several parties (Bohemian, International, or Hospital party) and gala dinner. The treasure hunt, a competition for groups of students, was organized to help the participants explore the historical center of the city and the Prague Castle. I would like to conclude by thanking all the participants, because we couldn’t have such a great congress without them, the whole reception committee, because they did really great job, and our sponsors, especially companies Abbott, Zentiva, and Phoenix. Hanka Landová LS Czech Republic 2009/2011 President USF


8th EPSA Autumn Assembly Birmingham, UK, 24th – 29th October’ 11 Symposium, workshops, General Assemblies, The evenings were fun fun fun! From the Voyage launch parties, amazing people – it couldn’t have been party, to the sexual fantasy party, to the gala dinner, we had it all. Of course, we also had an International better! Since the beginning of my education, I’ve heard about and seen posters of EPSA. Unfortunately it stopped there. I never sat down to do some research to ind out what EPSA was, and what EPSA did. Until I met people like Inkatuuli Heikinnen, Linda Labberton and Anders Grismo through an assembly for pharmaceutical students in North Europe (Pinsestevnet). They told me that I should attend at least one EPSA event. I signed up for the 8th EPSA AA in Birmingham but I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that there was going to be lots of educational inputs throughout the week. And I also knew that the day didn’t end after the educational program. Oh no, IT DID NOT! The week started off with the 1st Attendees meeting, where all the new participants got to learn a bit about EPSA from more experienced, and also the other new faces around them. Later on, at the opening ceremony, the Chairman for the reception committee and the EPSA President welcomed us. The night went on, and I met LOTS of new faces and tried as hard as I could to learn names. We attended Symposiums, workshops and trainings during the day. I must say, I learned more that week than I have during the three weeks after the AA. I can’t remember a session where I thought “this is boring”.


night. I have experienced other international nights, but nothing beats the EPSA international night.

I had mixed feelings on Friday morning - my body could feel that my bed was very close, yet I knew that this was the last day. You could see tired faces and you could see some sad faces, but I think they just were tired. However, it didn’t take long before everyone went from the ugly duck to princesses and prince wannabes for the gala dinner. Coming back to Norway was just hard. I got dependent on and addicted to the RC. All the sudden there wasn’t anyone telling me that “the next session is on 6th loor” or “The bus leaves at 7 pm sharp, be there or be....” But I am glad Inkatuuli convinced me to attend the AA. If I missed out, I would never meet the many cool and smart people like I did. Now I know that EPSA is so much more than what I thought it was. I’m very grateful to have been one of the participants of the 8th EPSA Autumn Assembly, and I am also very grateful for the work the RC did during the week. Undoubtly, it was worth the money, the body damages and so on and so on... I will see you in Istanbul! Rebwar Saleh NoPSA -Norway

Future of Education What opportunities do we have? 9 out of 10 pharmacy students are ready to invest not attend again. This also shows the interest and need among the students, who cannot travel or on training in communication. After the huge increase of interest towards soft skills trainings, EPSA together with GSK chose to assess what the actual needs and attitudes towards soft skills training are. 200 students participated in an online survey generated by GSK to provide their insights on the matter. The results left no doubts - communication was highlighted as the most important or interesting skill to improve. Only 50% of the participants had attended a training event. However, 86% were ready to invest their own money for a training weekend in another European country. In practice this would mean that EPSA and the national associations should put more pressure on the universities to provide trainings on communication. The duty of informing and counselling patients is laid down in the European legislation, but only a handful of countries actually provide education on the subject.

attend EPSA congresses and calls for more support from the Universities. Instead of seeking for solutions to increase the interaction skills of future pharmacists using conventional methods, non-formal peer learning should be seen as a real alternative. You can read the letter from the Reims students on the next page.

The challenge is the method of teaching as the faculties often refer to non-existent research in the area. The students on the other hand clearly indicated that they prefer the methods of non-formal learning, which are the base of EPSA trainings too. Communication is an inbuilt competence and it is hence not easy to ind a solution which its-everyone, as individuals are often very different in their communication models. The University of Reims and the University of Helsinki invited EPSA to provide trainings as a part of the mandatory education. The students specializing in industrial pharmacy in Reims attended 6 hours of training in 4 topics with the focus on leadership and understanding of the interaction processes. The students and the responsible professor gave good feedback and there is ongoing discussion of holding similar events annually. All the students, who provided feedback after the training, would recommend the trainings to other students too, and only one would


Furthermore, the results from the survey on needs assessment call for more knowledge and actual skills in clinical care. The students are well aware of the future prospects of the profession and the shift towards therapy management and patient empowerment. This would, however, also increase the importance of good communication skills. If the Directive on Information to Patients allows the industry to provide information directly to patients, the pharmacist-patient–relation might shift towards a dialogue instead of one-waycommunication. EPSA expects Universities to focus more on understanding what future patients are like and on having a curriculum that would prepare the students to work with, when they join the labour force.

Inkatuuli Heikkinen EPSA Education and Professional Affairs Coordinator

On the 7th and 8th of November 2011, we participated in training sessions covering topics like stress, communication, leadership styles and group dynamics, delivered by Inkatuuli Heikkinen. Increasingly, companies aren’t just assessing their current staff and future recruits on their pharmaceutical knowledge and skills. They are now assessing them on a whole host of soft skill competencies around how well they relate and communicate to others. Luckily, our University recognizes this need, and provided us with appropriate training. In the most progressive companies, managers are looking for people’s ability to communicate clearly and openly, and to listen and respond empathetically. Good soft skills include the ability of people to balance the commercial needs of the company with the individual needs of their staff. Thankfully, soft skills can be developed on an on-going basis through good training, insightful reading, observation and of course, practise, practise, practise. This is just what we were doing during the sessions. Working in small groups served to implement what we had just been taught. It helped us facilitate better communication and people’s ability to manage differences effectively. For all of these reasons, we feel that this training contributed to our personal and professional development. In two words: entertaining and useful. Moreover, at the end of the training, we received a certiicate of attendance which will help improve our CV. To conclude, the training sessions helped us learn how what we have to deal with later on in our job: to manage people. Industrial pharmacy students Rheims, France



One for all and all for one - BPhD e.V. BPhD celebrated its 111th General Assembly on the 11th of November 2011. The Bundesverband der Pharmaziestudierenden in Deutschland (National Association of Pharmacy Students in Germany, BPhD) unites all pharmacy students in Germany and therein of cially represents all 11,000 pharmacy students in Germany from 22 faculties.

students with a national overview of good pharmacies for internships by permanent evaluation. Also we evolve annually a booklet with tips how to study abroad and we recently opened an online market for internships on our homepage where placement offers can be promoted and applied for. All guidebooks are available via

For 50 years, BPhD has served as a permanent companion during the years of studies and during the pre-registration year, always aiming to improve pharmacy education in Germany. The association takes a stand for the interests of pharmacy students at the universities and represents them in public, in front of national professional associations, governmental institutions and companies. Additionally we are working eagerly with the German chambers of pharmacy and international organizations such as EPSA and IPSF.

Additionally, BPhD is making a stand in the ield of politics related to pharmacy and pharmacy studies. We are invited to be representatives at important professional events, where we can defend our interests and let the voice of pharmacy students be heard. Our National congresses are organized twice annually. Every faculty of Germany sends a delegation to the GA and motions and position papers are evolved. There we also gain ideas and opinions about local and national problems, discuss ways to face them and prepare plans of action together. These events are without doubt the highlight of every semester.

BPhD was founded on the 17th of November 1948 as a Working Group of pharmacy students. The working group grew into a large and quite complex association leading to the current BPhD. The most important year was 1990, when after the German reuniication, the universities of eastern Germany joined the organization and we were renamed as BPhD. From there on we share our work nation-wide. We helped to change the system of approbation and are enforcing the importance of clinical pharmacy in the pharmaceutical curriculum. Other projects mostly consisted of increasing the accessibility of all types of information to the students. This included for example the creation of a guidebook for the pre-registration year, giving informations about the activities on the international level via IPSF and EPSA and providing the


Our other important event, the Pharmaweekend, consists of a symposium on a current pharmaceutical topic, sightseeing and socializing with pharmacy students. In 2012, we will be having the 10th edition of this event, the topic of which will be “Skin”. Although lectures are held in German, you are warmly invited to join us for June in Würzburg! We are really looking forward to the upcoming 111th National Congresses and the productive time in between. For the future period, BPhD promises to be there for its students more than 111% motivated to help whenever needed. Daniela Kolberg (BPhD Liaison Secretary) Tobias Köpcke (BPhD Publications Oficer)

STOP, WEEDream – a Quattrino project Learning while having fun Many photos have been taken, new Facebook friends were added. But now, it’s your time! Bring your friends to your country, amaze them by the surroundings, captivate them with a catchy theme of the project, and don’t forget to send us a postcard as well. During Twinnet projects, participants not only have fun, but also get to learn about a current pharmaceutical topic. Between 11 and 18 October the irst phase of the Quattrino project “STOP,WEEDream!” took place in Bucharest, Romania. Members from Latvia, Portugal, Turkey and, of course, Romania came together to debate the ethnobotanic drug situation in each country. In the past couple of years “spices” have affected youngsters from around Europe and the issue had become quite dangerous. This is what led project coordinators Monica Luca and Wanda Polipciuc to organise a powerful campaign to help raise awareness about what ethnobnotnics actually are and what effects and dangers they pose. The week spent in Bucharest was very fruitful both educationally and culturally. The workshop “‘Spice’ phenomenon – a problem in Europe” introduced each participant to the “spice” situation in each country, what they represent, how they are marketed, and their current legal/ illegal status. Further on, invited speaker Mr. Radu Vasile Pop, from the Romanian Antidrug Agency, presented some legislative peculiarities of each country and measures to combat consumption. But let’s not forget that we are pharmacists and thus masters of chemistry. Our knowledge was tested during Ms. Robert Ancuceanu’s presentation (lecturer at The University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest, Faculty of Pharmacy) about the side effects of “spices” and drug design of ethnobotanics. Ms. Ancuceanu also prepared an activity for us where we had to identify different substances by their side effects.

After all the theoretical information about ethnobotanics, we got creative in workshops like “What do young people dream about? – Dream shops” (held by Wanda Polipciuc – project coordinator), “Designing an informal campaign to combat and prevent the use of “spices””- Cristina Parau (Social Services and Public Health Coordinator for EPSA) and “How we see the dissemination of the project in the near future and beyond” – Monica Luca (project coordinator). During the Quattrino project, we also had the opportunity to put all the theory into practice. We held campaigns in Circus Park and in a high school, where we handed out questionnaires and informational brochures about the “spice” phenomenon. For more information about what exactly went on during the project you can visit our blog: and Facebook page: STOP, WEEDream. The irst step of the our Quattrino experience is completed - I can speak on behalf of the entire Romanian team when I say that we can hardly wait to see what our Latvian, Turkish and Portuguese partners have prepared for us.

Lefter Mara-Ioana SSFB, Romania


IMP co-ordinator of the year Meet Gabriela Valentova The IMP Board competition was held to motivate national and local IMP coordinators to nd new IMP placements. Gabriela, Czech IMP coordinator, accomplished this task by nding a placement with Zentiva, a generic company.

applies for face to face meetings. Prepare yourself well, be aware of things the contact person could ask about and always be polite. Show the company that you are not asking for a favour, but you have something valuable to offer. How was the communication between you and the company? The beginning was kind of easy, I had a chance to speak directly to the director of quality during the World Healthcare Students’ Symposium (WHSS) in Prague. I introduced him to EPSA’s IMP and he really liked the idea of this project. After that I had to contact him a couple of times because people in the company of this size are so busy. But inally I got in touch with the HR Department, and they agreed to have a meeting. What are your personal achievements after this competition?

How was the procedure of approaching a new company to get a new IMP placement? The procedure is usually quite hard. It´s necessary to contact many representatives until one replies. This time it was slightly different due to the background of the whole project. Due to my association´s previous experience with Zentiva, it was not hard to get in touch with people from the company. Zentiva is aware of the future potential of students therefore the company supports students’ activities. What recommendations would you give other NIMPs about approaching a company? First of all you should always be patient. Do not lose control. If the company does not answer, do not give it up and be persistent in your effort of approaching them (send the email again). Before every phone call, prepare written notes and keep them in front of you to help you speak clearly and conidently. The same


I am glad to see how things work, I think I have improved my communication and organisation skills. Every experience and achievement like this motivates me for my next project/task. What are your thoughts about IMP and your position as NIMP. What are your future goals? In every way IMP is a great project, which deserves lots of attention. Experience offered to students this way is irreplaceable. Now I would like to enhance relations with Zentiva for future cooperation with EPSA and after that I will do my best to ind another IMP placement for EPSA members, here, in the heart of Europe.

Interviewed by Laura Scurtu EPSA Central IMP Coordinator


EPSA’s favorite LS Katrine Schuster Hansen, SOP Denmark Voted as EPSA’s Favourite Liasion Secretary: Meet Katrine Schuster Hansen, SOP Denmark.

Even though it wasn’t an optimal situation having one person holding both positions it gave me a insight in both associations – differences as well as similarities. After about a year we found my successor as CP, while I continued as EPSA LS for another year. Which task have you found more challenging during this year of mandate?

Why and how did you become LS for your association? I met Inkatuuli Heikkinen, who has been active in EPSA for many years, at the Scandinavian event Pinsestævne. She introduced me to EPSA and helped me get in contact with another highly active EPSA member, Louise Winnecke Jensen. She gave me a more thorough introduction of the association and convinced me to be the new LS for Denmark. I didn’t have any previous experience within EPSA and actually SOP too, but I like challenges, travelling and meeting new people. And with that dedication and enthusiasm from Louise and Inka, as they told me about EPSA, it didn’t take me long to take the step. Back in school I was also involved in student policy, so the interest to inluence the surroundings has always been there. Have you held any positions earlier in your local/ national association or in EPSA? IPSF Contact Person 2010/2011. Short after I was appointed as LS, the position as IPSF CP became vacant and since there weren’t any candidates I was asked to ill in both international positions for SOP.


To preparing congresses is always challenging, but in the good way. Both to prepare the Danish delegation, answering their questions and being ready in time for the General Assemblies. It might sound strange, but the more you become acquainted with the association, the more time it takes to prepare. Organising the 2nd Training Norden, a training event for the students from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, is another challenging experience I have had. But I have learned so much from it. Despite the hard times, I don’t regret the fact that I committed myself to this project. What did you do to promote EPSA to the students in Denmark? I post the events on the Facebook page of our association, hang up posters around the faculty, organise an international information meeting and try to spread the message in person. And it seems to be working. The Danish students have shown an overwhelming interest in the Annual Congress in Istanbul, which makes me very happy.

What is your best experience from being a LS? That’s a hard question. The position as LS has given me so many great experiences that will take too long to mention in detail. I have learned a lot about the pharmaceutical world, which I wouldn’t have learned during regular courses at my faculty, developed personally and of course met so many great students around Europe.

to move EPSA forward. You are the connecting link. But most importantly, enjoy your time and try to get as much as possible out of it. Before you know, your mandate will be over and the great memories are all you have left. Interviewed by Charlene Galea, EPSA Vice President of Public Relations

What is your message to the future EPSA Liaison Secretaries? Use all your surroundings – your predecessor, national executive, EPSA Buddy, fellow LSs and the EPSA Team. All are there to help you. Don’t be shy and also remember, no questions are stupid. Dare to be critical and try to contribute to the discussions in a constructive way, point out problems and bring up new ideas. Both the EPSA team and the European students need you

Develop your activity in the EU district. We will think about the rest. Serviced Offices Temporary Offices Meeting & Training Rooms Event Venue Brussels - 14b, Rue de la Science +32 (0)25880014


Educational Advocacy - French Perspective French students are working to help improve their education. Let’s see what Emilie Villeneuve, current ANEPF Vice-President of Education, and Florentin Normand, ANEPF President 2010-2011, have to say about educational advocacy in France. French studies are conducted over 6 years. The irst year is common to all healthcare students. This year is called “PACES” (refer to scheme below). This year, the promotions include between 1000 and 3500 students, depending on the city of study. This is an increase of 150 % since the reform!


Each year is now divided in two semesters (S1 and S2). To obtain the irst degree (grade license) you have to succeed in the irst 6 semesters. After that, you have to pass the next 4 semesters to obtain the next degree (grade master). The 5th year is organized in a different manner, it is necessary to accomplish a 6 month practice module at the hospital. Finally, in the 6th year, students can specialize in different: community pharmacy, industry or internship.

What would French students like to see improved in their education? Why is this so? The most important improvement which one can bring to the pharmacy studies in France would be to eliminate the PACES. This year, which is said to give a common culture and reduce the human mortar of the persons failing several times in the competition, is damaging education. Since the reform is effective, the irst year is no longer a formation year but rather, a selective one.

ANEPF’s primary role is to represent all the French pharmacy students and to defend them via the realization of various inquiries, press releases, etc. ANEPF plays a role in numerous meetings (teachers of training course, national order, ministries) and also has a say in committees like the Educational Committee of the Studies of Health and Under Educational Committee of Pharmacy to establish the programs of studies in France. ANEPF is an important partner for all those committees, and fortunately, is often heard.

In addition to this, the training courses are also to be improved. ANEPF’s objectives for the coming years are to improve the purpose of training courses, to improve follow-ups and the conditions of evaluation of the latter, to allow for better integration of the students in pharmacy and to ind the best possible grounds of training course. Finally, it is necessary to pursue the implementation of the reform and thus the integration to the LMD bachelor’s degree (Licence), master’s degree (Master) and doctorate (Doctorat) -system.

Emilie Villneuve and Florentin Normand, ANEPF

How are you working on these issues? What is ANEPF’s role in this? ANEPF’s team is doing its utmost to improve the formation of the future French healthcare professionals and to increase the credibility of the pharmaceutical environment, both with the other sectors of the health and with the general public.


Monoclonal Antibody Technology Science Topic The intriguing eld of monoclonal antibodies started 1975 when Milstein Koehler presented the hybridoma technology. This technology offers a way of producing monoclonal antibodies which recognize a speci c target in really large quantities. Milstein and Koehler were awarded with a Nobel prize in 1984 and their work is considered to be the start for the huge use of monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic and other purposes. Nowadays, 20 different monoclonal antibodies are available including fusion proteins and fragments of monoclonal antibodies. The monoclonal antibodies are generally considered to be of the safest drugs available due to their high selectivity on targets, which signiicantly decreases side effects. This specially applies in the oncology ield, where monoclonal antibodies like rituximab, trastuzumab and bevacizumab offer a better ratio of eficiency/security in comparison to the usual chemotherapies.

They consist of 4peptide chains, 2 heavy which are identical (50-55 kDa) and 2 identical light chains (25 kDa) that bind together with disulide bonds in the hinge region. The irst 110 aminoacids form the variable regions (VH and VL ) which also are the regions where the antigens are are 5 classes of immunoglobulins, IgG IgA, IgD, IgE and IgM. The pharmacological action of the antibodies is based in the special interaction between antibody and antigen. The pharmacologically used antibodies can act through various mechanisms such as: • Immediate action on the antigen-target • The CDC immunity • And the ADCC immunity The successful use of the monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic factors in ields as oncology, autoimmune diseases and organ transplantation is a highly interesting, both for science and business alike. The market of monoclonal antibodies is one of most dynamic sectors in the pharmaceutical industry and will have even more evolvement in the future. The monoclonal antibodies are today very appealing therapeutic factors and will continue tobe the subject of efforts for discovery and development of new drugs.

The antibodies (Abs) or immunoglobulins (Ig) have a Y shape.


Maria Manataki EPSA Science Coordinator

Active and Healthy Ageing in the EU Public Health Topic We are all ageing – every day of our life! The ageing example, in the long-term populations beneit from process starts before one is born and continues health promotion and prevention of diseases, but Member States need evidence and politically attractive throughout life. incentives to make the required investments.

Secondly, it needs to communicate the agreed goals, beneits, cost assessments and required measures both at EU and national levels. Member States, European citizens and electorates together with the public and private sector must understand the advantages of working together on AHAIP.

The European Council endorses the Commission’s launch of a European Active and Healthy Ageing Innovation Partnership (AHAIP). This partnership will aim to give the average European two more years of good health. As well as having enormous beneits for older people and their families, this would contribute to relieving the strain on public inances. To achieve the target, activities are planned to 1. enable EU citizens to lead healthy, independent lives until old age; 2. improve the sustainability and eficiency of social and healthcare systems by e.g. integrating them and developing home-based care, self-care and long-term care; 3. promote development of products, devices and services for older people.

Thirdly, the EU-funded projects should promote the key principles of AHAIP: wider understanding of innovation; multi-stakeholder collaboration that helps to address different needs of older people; health equity, and the required change in attitude. Fourthly, faster and more eficient distribution of costcompetitive new treatments and technologies require a functioning single market. Lastly, the EU should push Member States to share information on good practice on how to improve the health of individuals as they age. As Member States need to spend more resources on prevention of diseases, more communication is needed about solutions that can help to promote health and prevent disease. No one can reverse the process of ageing, but together we can age healthier!

However, this is easier said than done. The European Commission is about to get involved in policy areas, such as health, healthcare and employment. The EU has a number of tools at its disposal to achieve the set goals: Firstly, it can provide incentives for Member States to commit to the achievement of the objectives. For

Cristina Parau EPSA Social Services and Public Health Coordinator

picture:Rainer Sturm/


EPSA Grad Have you ever dreamed about studying abroad? Universities and different exchange programmes, such as the Erasmus programme, offer many possibilities to study outside your own country. But these programmes are not necessarily for everyone. Maybe you cannot ind just the right courses from the offered choices. Or maybe you yearn for longer studies in a foreign university than the common exchange programmes allow for. But how can you ind the right university, the right courses and all the required information from a foreign country? EPSA’s answer for this question is the EPSA Grad. The project will offer European pharmacy students a solid database, where they can ind information about the studying possibilities across Europe. This database will offer all the necessary information about the courses or modules offered by foreign universities, teaching languages, prices, entry requirements and contacts. The EPSA Grad is something that was irst introduced during the mandate 2010/11 by Joao Duarte, then EPSA Vice President of Education. This year, the project is coming through, thanks to the collaboration with the Division of Social Pharmacy from the University of Helsinki. A Bachelor student Kaarlo Lekander, has taken the challenge to gather the information needed for the Grad as a part of his Bachelor’s thesis work. The Liaison Secretaries and IMP coordinators from all EPSA member countries also play a vital role in this project, as the information needed for this project was collected from them by a survey. The survey was available for the executives of national associations. 11 countries illed in and submitted the survey, with 8 countries offering information about the available studies and 3 countries saying they don’t have any particular studies to ill in. All the studies that were illed in were either master’s degree studies or continuous professional training. Besides the collected material, the thesis will also include


other options of mobility, such as EPSA’s Individual Mobility Project. The dissertation will be written in Finnish initially, but later on, the collected material of studies across Europe will be made available in English. The existing material is still quite limited, but when the project expands in the future, more information will be available. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to ind your future career with the EPSA Grad.

Eeva Ryynänen EPSA Vice President of Education Kaarlo Lekander Finnish Pharmaceutical Students’ Associations

Free movement of pharmacists Updating the scope of the profession The European legislation on scope of the pharmacy profession, opportunities for mobility and list of subjects are currently under revision by the European institutions. After public consultations, which EPSA also contributed to, the European Commission published the draft updated Directive on Professional Quali cations in mid-December. The Directive is seen as the common European framework to harmonise the duties of pharmacists in every country and the list of mandatory subjects that should be taken to attain enough knowledge to qualify. Having a harmonised approach and minimum standards agreed on improves the opportunity for professional mobility – meaning that one is able to practice the profession in another European country too. The practical process is normally not as easy as it sounds; in many countries obtaining a license includes performing language tests in order to ensure the ability to give counselling in the native language of the patient. In their proposal, the Commission took the safe track and did not propose many changes. Reporting adverse reactions was included in the duties of a pharmacist, but according to the report consolidating the contributions to the Green paper it is hard for Member States to agree on the timing of the 6 months internship. Some countries, such as the UK, prefer pre-registration training while for example in Finland, the students attend their irst practice sessions after their second year of studies. Finding a solution which its all countries would be almost impossible. However, the Member States are given the freedom to implement the Directive into their national legislation. This leaves space for national provisions depending on the healthcare system, role of the pharmacist and education curriculum.

The European Commission also proposed to introduce a European professional card, which would serve as a proof for having the professional license in the country, where the person has undertaken his or her training. The card should accelerate the rate of obtaining the license to practice pharmacy in another European country.. Another proposal in the directive is the introduction of an alert system for health professionals beneiting from automatic recognition. Competent authorities of a Member State will be obliged to alert competent authorities of all other Member States about a health professional who has been forbidden from exercising his professional activity by a public authority or a court. This is particularly important in case a pharmacist is banned from practising in his or her home Member State, moving abroad to work, and other Member States are not aware of it. For future pharmacists, this directive would hopefully increase the mobility opportunities also for young graduates. Inkatuuli Heikkinen EPSA Education and Professional Affairs Coordinator


How to rock the stage? A mini guide to help improve your public speaking skills. Paying attention to all of the points mentioned here is an easy way to give a boost to your public speaking performance. If you nd the points interesting and useful, don’t hesitate to take part in one of EPSA’s public speaking trainings and learn more. Preperation Preparation is the key to everything. Well prepared means half done. If you prepare well it gives you more conidence, enables the presentation to be more dynamic and usually also makes the presentation of a better quality. 1. Reserve enough time to prepare – for a presentation of one hour you need to prepare at least three hours! 2. Do your research – research many times more material than you will end up using in your presentation. This way the most important points will be included, you can anticipate what kind of questions the audience might ask related to your topic and also what to answer. 3. The 6 Ws - ask yourself: What? Why? Who? When? Where? How? What? – What is your topic? This affects how you should present it. Why? – What is the objective of your presentation? EVERY element of your presentation should support that objective! Who? - Who is your audience? You will have to speak to a crowd of children in a different way than you would to a group of researchers. When? – Will there be any other things taking place at the same time that might affect your presentation? Will the presentation take place very late or after many hours of other presentations, when the audience might not be that alert?


Where? – What is the space like? How should you move? Where should you look? Any other things to consider related to where the presentation is taking place? How? – How can you emphasize your most important points? How can you support the objective of your presentation? This includes all the technical tools from structure to tone of voice and body language. Structure 1. Basics of structure – the most important points of your presentation should come up at least three times: in the introduction of the presentation, in the actual body of the presentation and in the conclusions. Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you’ve told them. 2. Concentrate on a point – if you have too many points, none of them will get through, so pick the most important ones and keep it simple. For example, when writing a speech make sure each paragraph has only one main point and that it is presented in the introductory sentence of that paragraph. Decide on the most important points in your presentation and present them one at a time, in a logical order. 3. Use transitions – to make your presentation smooth, easy and logical to follow, use transitions when moving from one point to another. As a transition you can for example use a question (Does anyone know what the symptoms of hyperglycemia are?), have a pause, move to another point on the stage, use bridgewords (Furthermore, nevertheless, in addition….) or use the point-formula (I have three points, irst I would like to talk about…).

Presentation Tips 1. Use tone of voice to highlight points – when speaking, vary your tone when there is an important point you want to highlight or when you are moving to a new subject to make it easier for the audience to follow 2. Use movement on stage to highlight points – step forward to indicate you are going to say something important, step backward to signal you have ended a point and move laterally to indicate that you are starting a new point related to the previous one discussed 3. Take eye-contact with your whole audience – if the audience is very big, divide it into segments and remember to look at each segment from time to time

How to ght the fright? 1. Worst case scenario – What’s the worst thing that can happen? Even if you arrive late, forget everything you were supposed to say and trip on stage – will anyone die? Putting things into perspective can lessen your fears 2. “Square breathing” - breathe in deep for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and hold your breath again for four seconds. Repeat. When you are feeling anxious this kind of breathing pattern helps you lower your pulse and feel more relaxed 3. Practice, practice, practice – the more you do it, the less scary it feels. You can also practice with a friend to get a concrete feeling of how the presentation will go and perhaps some constructive feedback as well. Never memorize the whole thing, though sometimes practicing the beginning and ending of the presentation can give reassurance and conidence to the speaker

Homework! Which of the previously mentioned points do you still need to work on? Make a goal related to it and stick to it for the next two weeks. For example it could be something like: Next time I feel anxious about saying something out loud during a lecture, I will try to use the worst case scenario technique.

Good luck!

olf van picture: R Melis / pi

Tiia Metiäinen, EPSA Training Coordinator Sources: LSS 2010 Presentation Skills training material


Dietary supplements: fact or myth? In a perfectly normal world, humans are supposed to insure their nutrition requirements by means of a healthy diet. But this is no normal world, so man’s initiative of investigating and producing something that could actually cover the de ciencies caused by his own bad habits, led to what we nowadays call “dietary supplements”. Dietary supplements are, when analyzing EMA regulations, products that are taken to balance a diet or a speciic nutritive lack, containing vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids or concentrates. Nevertheless, as simple as the deinition might seem, health specialists never reached a inal conclusion: to what extent should the patient self-administer such supplements? Are they natural, chemical-free and with no pharmacological side effect and therefore, safe? Usually, the key to consuming such products is not exceeding the recommended dosage (the avoidance of so called “mega doses”) and period of treatment. The pharmacist’s role becomes vital to make the difference between safe, therapeutic consumption and abuse. That’s why, future pharmacists, like us, need to have the proper knowledge about the composition of such supplements, what patients with particular physiological or pathological conditions should use, and intervene when something is not correctly prescribed. However, this clear delimitation is only possible for clinically tested and widely known supplements. But what about dangerous products, those that are marketed even if they should be prohibited? The regulations in some countries stipulate that picture:manwalk/


the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that an ingredient is safe before it is marketed, meaning that the products are oficially veriied only after being consumed by patients. This attitude led to insuficiently studied substances, that caused severe adverse reactions: from ephedra products, used as weight-loss stimulants, now banned, responsible for hypertension and increased heart rate, to aristolochia(a herb connected to cancer and kidney failure) or energy booster mixtures (that contain an enormous quantity of caffeine, equivalent of 10-12 cups of espresso). The issue of dietary supplements is however, controversial, requiring the involvement of authorities, researchers, doctors, pharmacists and patients for choosing and approving only the most accurate, unharmful and carefully dosed compounds. Despite the boost of commercials and information in the last years, only few of us are actually aware o f what supplementing our diet means and what advantages and disadvantages this provides. Having an appropriate alimentation should be our main choice and concern.

Luciana Herda University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila Bucharest

Brussels – the center of Europe Living and working for EPSA The European Union system is historically unique and has been upgrading and improving for the last 55 years. All the EU policies are in general made by the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of EU, which are all based in Brussels1. It is a common mistake that people mix up Council of Europe, Council of EU and Council of Ministers, which are 3 different bodies. In fact three quarters of national laws are based on decisions made in Brussels. EU citizens, as well as other European countries, are inding that their lives are increasingly shaped by regulations established here. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), companies and different associations recognize the importance of communication with European institutions and in amongst each other, in order to lobby for citizens of Europe and various interest groups at the European level. As a non-governmental, representative body, EPSA is based in Brussels, which is the most logical location considering the line of work. The permanent oficer is always the EPSA Vice President of External Affairs2, who is lobbying on a daily basis to promote the interests of pharmacy students in the European institutions and relevant organisations.

In recent years, we have established good relationships with several of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and some of the professional associations which are relevant to the pharmacy profession. Most of them are based exactly in Brussels, and having a meeting with them is very convenient. I have to say, life in Brussels offers more than expected. There is always someone interesting to meet or a good conversation behind the corner. Every week there are several events which are potentially relevant to pharmacy students, and I am trying to visit most of them to report back to the team. Among these advantages, a lot of interns and stagers are based in Brussels, and mostly willing to have a chat over a good Belgium beer. Bojan Davini EPSA Vice President of External Affairs


The EU Parliament has two meeting places, namely the Louise Weiss building in Strabourg, France, which serves for plenary sessions, and the Espace Leopold complex in Brussels which is bigger. 2 In previous years it was EU Oficer which can be found in some documents.

photo by DamienHR


Inter-professional education to improve pharmacist and doctor collaboration Poor communication between health care providers underlies the majority of medical errors – unfortunately, at the patients’ expense. Efforts to improve the working relationship between doctors and pharmacists should focus on the strategic introduction of changes in the educational aspects of the pharmaceutical care. Standardized education of medical students such that would enable them to learn to prescribe in an optimal manner and ongoing inter-professional education of doctors and pharmacists in therapeutics are likely to be of paramount importance. Inter-professional education would help in deining the separate yet interdependent professions of pharmacy and medicine. The need to place emphasis on collaboration and team work with professions working together, rather than alongside one another, will rely on the provision of shared learning opportunities for doctors and pharmacists. Many caveats remain in implementing this approach, one of which is the attitudes of educators and students towards inter-professional education. One must highlight the difference between shared ‘learning’ and shared ‘teaching’. Shared teaching is often adopted in a university setting for economic reasons. However, this does not necessarily help in the education developments of lexible collaborative team workers who understand the importance of inter-professional communication in the healthcare workplace. Particular institutions are already bringing health sciences


students, including pharmacy and medical students in truly collaborative learning models. Joint therapeutic teaching sessions in particular institutions, involving inal year pharmacy students and medical students proved highly successful. Students exhibited a true co-operative spirit and appreciated the opportunity to learn from each other given that the medical students were generally more conident at history taking, while the pharmacy students were more comfortable with analyzing drug therapy. Collaboration can also take place via student associations. Events such as an Inter-professional Health Education Day can be designed to implant the notion of teamwork, a concept that is widely endorsed but often elusive. By introducing students early on, they can get acquainted with each other and their chosen ields in a relaxed way that will ease interactions in clinical settings later on. The idea is to learn now what other people do instead of when you’re on the job. It’s so you’re on the same page as everyone else and can focus on patient care rather than turf wars. You learn where your expertise begins and where it ends. It all becomes less nebulous.

Legislation and policy adopted by governments and health authorities are also of vital importance, given that pharmacists are only able to operate within the limited structure set out for them by government policy. It is important that pharmacists act proactively to develop their own role at the frontline of patient care, by making the medical profession aware of their distinct competencies, initiating medication reviews for certain subpopulations of patients and by lobbying the relevant authorities for increased responsibilities so that they can convey optimal pharmaceutical care to their patients. Nevertheless, doctors must also embrace the increased role of the pharmacist by taking time and effort to increase the extent of clinical alliance between the two professions. Barriers between these professions must be broken down in the interests of both professions and, most importantly, in the interests of the patient population.

Iza Ene - EMSA Vice-President of Internal Affairs Charlene Galea - EPSA Vice President of Public Relations

“From a medical students’ perspective, inter-professional education is not the only element which can help improve doctor-pharmacist working relationship. Our communication as future medical professionals with the pharmacists could be improved greatly. In most European countries we are currently confronted with a situation where only a minimum doctor-pharmacist contact is regularly insured but this does not mean that we are out of touch with what could prove to be useful for the patients, doctors and pharmacists. In an ideal situation, the prescription forms could have more comprehensive information that can prove useful to the pharmacist that has to recur to substitution and/ or shifting and also an open channel of communication could prove a valuable additional tool. Further more, hospital doctors or doctors in general practice could beneit from the knowledge of hospital or community pharmacists by asking information concerning speciic medications or they could seek advice on how to avoid immunogenicity or pharmacological interactions in some polypharmacy cases. From the pharmacists’ side, there are many arguments in favor of the use of methods of e-prescribing complemented by the possibility to contact the prescribing physician whenever needed via a secured e-mail channel or phone. Insuring data conidentiality would of course need to remain a priority but the above methods could only contribute to increased patient safety and quality of care.”


Alumni Corner Meet Michael Gafà - EPSA Honorary Life Member

How did you come in contact with EPSA and what was it that made you decide to become a part of the EPSA team? It all began in 1998 when I attended the EPSA annual congress in Madrid. Back then, all I knew was that EPSA stands for European....(you know the rest!). When I attended the irst GA, I could not believe how much energy was placed into the work by the EPSA executive. This ignited in me the desire to be active in EPSA. In fact, during the 1998 congress, I joined the education sub-committee which was headed by Ivana Silva. In the EPSA congress in 2001 held in Lisbon, I became an executive member. This was a fantastic year as I travelled to attend the Executive committee meetings and represent EPSA oficially at the Europharm Forum meeting. My time in EPSA came to an end at the 25th Annual congress held in Zagreb. I guess the decision to actively involve myself within EPSA always seemed to be a natural one.

Do you believe that EPSA has enriched your personal life or career in any way? Beyond any doubt! EPSA instilled in me that need to always get better and improve on what I achieve. Through EPSA I managed to open new doors in my life due to the myriad exposure of cultures, languages and thoughts that I came across. Today, I’ve reached an important milestone in my career and during the interview process a great deal of importance was given to my background during the time as a student! So, sooner or later working on such levels always pays!

Me during the Gala dinner of the congress in 2002

I am Michael Gafà coming from the amazing island of Malta. I was EPSA Vice-President in 2001 and I’m now working as a Facility Manager within a residence for old people. On a personal level I am now married and the proud father of two amazing girls.

How do you think today’s EPSA differs from the EPSA from your days? The Executive committee structure and the General Assemblies held during the year are two important differences. For a couple of years after 2002, I did have the time to closely monitor how things were developing but nowadays it’s quite dificult due to work and family commitments!

Executive Committe 2001/2002 at the beginning of the 1st GA in 2002


What is your best memory from your years of experience in EPSA? I still remember one of the irst nights in the Madrid congress where we partied till dawn, got an hour of sleep and started a day of GA’s, half asleep! Another memory was when during the congress in Malta the participants were so noisy that the hotel management decided that we should move to another hotel. The funny thing was that from a 4 star we moved to a 5 star hotel!

Two key moments are when I was elected as Vice-President and then the nomination for HLM. To this present day I feel honoured that I will always be a member of this Association! Are you still in contact with the people you met through EPSA? (If yes, how?) Nowadays I have re-established contacts with old friends through Facebook. In these last ten years I also had the opportunity to meet again friends while travelling around Europe for holidays! Do you have any advice for the students around Europe - the future pharmacy professionals? Grab the opportunities that EPSA presents to you. This train only passes once in life. You have to use your student years eficiently to ensure that you notonly become valuable members of the healthcare team but also respectable members of society. EPSA has a huge role to play in this! So, don’t let this great potential escape from your hands....Make It Happen! Interviewed by Anette Aaland Krokaas EPSA Alumni Oficer 2011-2012

Noel Wicks, Lindsay Mclure (former IPSF president), me and the Famous Baby Allan!

ALUMNI WEEKEND 2012 Come celebrate the 35th EPSA Anniversary during the Annual Congress in Istanbul!

26 - 29 April CONGRESS FEE OPTIONS 2 6 - 29 Ap r i l ( Tw i n ro om ) 2 7 0 €

26 - 29 April (Single room) 415 €

2 7 - 2 9 A p r i l ( Tw i n ro o m ) 1 9 5 €

27 - 29 April (Single room) 290 €

The whole programme, application dates and more details will soon be available at 29

A S P e E g a a y l o à V s A y S a P E Holid file on ro p n w ur o o y p u me o nd h u r √ set epage o u r a o y hom n offer for y students c a a e c m r a l a √ p other ph it s i v e p √ o r u A, S P all of E E h t i w s ay d i l o h ur o y n a ! Pl e g a y o bon v


EPSA Executive Contacts EPSA President Guilherme Monteiro Ferreira

EPSA VP of Public Relations Charlene Galea

EPSA VP of Education Eeva Ryynänen

EPSA VP of Mobility Diana Mereu

EPSA Secretary General Pedro Barroca

EPSA VP of External Affairs Bojan Davinic

EPSA Treasurer Willem Rauwé

EPSA Ofice Rue du Luxembourg 19-21, 1000 Bruxelles, BELGIUM

Have you enjoyed reading this EPSA Newsletter? Now you can subscribe the EPSA Newsletter and receive it, three times per year, at your home! How to do it? Go to, ill in the application form and send it to EPSA Vice President of Public Relations ( You should also send the proof of payment to EPSA Treasurer ( Keep yourself updated!



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