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bringing pharmacy, knowledge and students together Volume 19 | Edition 3 | April 2012

Annual Reception The event of excellence

EPSA TNT4 Unleash the trainers! Updates from community pharmacy Meet Jurate Svarcaite this newsletter is produced by EPSA and is distributed to all EPSA members, national pharmaceutical students’ organisations, faculties, official bodies and sponsors

European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Table of contents and Editor’s words Presidential Words


Trainings going local


DIA Euromeeting


EPSA Alumni - in EPSA then, where now?


Annual Reception


PubSoc - Rare Disease Day


Meet the EPSA Training founder


Sciene - Patient targeted therapy


EAHP Congress


Members’ page


EPSA TNT4 in Slovenia


Community pharmacy is changing


IMP Training


TWINNET and Voyage


sMaRt - Pharma Market Research


Contact Information


Training Corner


Dear readers, Another mandate has come to an end. It has been one more year of great achievements for EPSA from different aspects. Green papers and statements of opinions were issues, great events were organized, EPSA Voyage and sMaRt project were kick started and new countries showed interest in joining the ever-growing association. Moreover, this year EPSA is celebrating its 35th Anniversary. That’s it – 35 years of bringing pharmacy, knowledge and students together! 35 years of projects and accomplishments. From the European Sub-Committee (ESC), the association has grown to become the independent entity it is today. Over the years, different people helped contribute to the development of the association and also to pharmacy

education in Europe. And one thing is in common: all of these are proud to have been part of EPSA! Find out more about the latest developments in EPSA in this Newsletter edition. Enjoy your reading! Yours in EPSA,

Charlene Galea Vice President of Public Relations


Presidential words

EPSA at the 24th DIA EuroMeeting

Dear EPSA friends,

Students, stakeholders and professionals of healthcare and life sciences innovation gathered from all over the world for the DIA Euromeeting, in Copenhagen. Topics reflected upon include innovation, risk management and pharmacovigilance, clinical trials and regulatory review and approval – all of which work together toward the shared purpose of meeting currently unmet medical needs in Europe.

It is my great pleasure to address you and to introduce you to the third and last edition of the EPSA Newsletter of the mandate 2011/2012. One year has passed since I became President of this amazing association and many things happened during this period. Since the last edition of this newsletter we had the EPSA Annual Reception, which for the third consecutive year, was held at the European Parliament in Brussels. For the first time this year, the Annual Reception was hosted by more than one Member of the European Parliament. I consider this step extremely important, especially since we had three political parties represented, which favours the character of EPSA as a non-political organization. The topic was “Active and Healthy Ageing – understanding the implications of growing old” and we had more than 150 participants listening and participating in the discussion with the members of the panel - as you’ll be able to read in some of the following pages. During this period, EPSA was also represented at two major events of our partners: the EAHP Annual Congress and the DIA EuroMeeting. For the first time ever, EPSA was invited to have a representative at the DIA Advisory Council Europe, this being the perfect example of the current tendency of professional associations to listen to students and young professionals more. In general during the year the presence of EPSA representatives in most of the major events of our professional partners should be highlighted. This is the way for us to show what we do, to defend the interests of our students and to understand what is going on in the pharmaceutical world so that we can share this knowledge with our students.


March 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark

In this edition of the EPSA Newsletter you’ll find many articles dedicated to education. Education is one of the core points that connects us and an area that we need to pay more attention to, in order to defend the interests of our students. Of course all this is done with the precious work of the EPSA EduBoard. During the last month, the 4th edition of the EPSA Training New Trainers (EPSA TNT) was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. My words for the new trainers are simple: Welcome! You are an important part of the association and I encourage you to be as active as possible and to enjoy your moments delivering the amazing trainings. Finally, with the end of our mandates at sight, my last words in this Newsletter go for my Team. Congratulations to you all! During this year we faced challenges, happy and sad moments and but we never stopped representing students. This is a year that will stay forever in my memory and you are all part of it. This year we leave the association with amazing work done in all the different areas of EPSA and with some on-going projects that can lead the association to move forward and provide more to our students. This is something that all the EPSA Teams can never forget. We work for the greater good of the Pharmacy students of Europe! Yours in EPSA,

Guilherme Monteiro Ferreira EPSA President

The Student Poster Program is an opportunity for students to present their research results to a diverse group of scientific professionals. Inkatuuli Heikkinen, EPSA Professional and Education coordinator, presented 2 posters on behalf of EPSA, covering outcomes of the Training survey and the Annual Questionnaire 2010-2011 on Pharmacovigilance. I believe that the EuroMeeting served as an inspiration to all students present. Exposure to such a professional event in indeed the perfect environment for networking, as well as an opportunity for students to get in touch with professionals from their fields of interest in the Pharmaceutical world. The 25th Annual DIA Euromeeting is going to be held in March 2013, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Over 100 students also formed a central part of the Euromeeting, by having a student tailored programme, which included a tutorial, student sessions, a student poster programme, a student welcome reception, as well as a students’ feedback session. This undoubtedly reflects the growing collaboration that DIA has with EPSA. The first student session provided an insight to job opportunities and their characteristics in the pharmaceutical industry together with information about different training opportunities available. This was then followed by the student welcome reception, where the students were welcomed by the DIA President, Dr Yves Juillet.

Charlene Galea EPSA Vice President of Public Relations “I was informed about DIA from a friend of mine who is currently part of the EPSA Team. I decided to send my abstract, without special expectations. Luckily, I was called to present my scientific work at the DIA EuroMeeting in Copenhagen. I was happy like a child. Someone really cares about students! And not only that I had a perfect chance to be a presenter, but they awarded me for my work. Couldn’t be better! I am sure that a lot of you did some good work during the studies. Use your chance!” Branko Vukosavljevic, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, Serbia


Annual Reception The event of excellency

Being one of the the most important events in the EPSA calendar, the Annual Reception provides a valuable opportunity for the association to present its projects and achievements to many external entities – such as other students’ associations, professional organisations, companies and European institutions – and also to present and defend the European students’ perspective on multiple issues. Furthermore, a main topic is defined, according to the current reality or future needs of the pharmaceutical field, which is actively discussed in a “round table” format during the event. In the past few years, the Annual Reception has grown tremendously. While it has, for a long time, taken place in Brussels between the end of February and the beginning of March, two years ago it started being held in the European Parliament. This boost in visibility brought with it increased attendance, and it is with pleasure that we see a greater number of people being interested in taking part in this event. With over 150 confirmed participants from over 20 countries, this year’s edition of the Annual Reception was co-hosted by 4 Members of the European Parliament from 3 different political parties, in a clear display of EPSA’s status as a non-political organisation. Additionally, the round table also counted with the presence of panelists from EAHP (European Association of Hospital Pharmacists), ESCP (European Society of Clinical Pharmacy), PGEU (Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union, representing community pharmacies) and EPSA, ensuring that as many views as possible were taken into account.


The chosen topic was “Active and Healthy Ageing – understanding the implications of growing old”. As society evolves, due to advances in social conditions as well as medical improvements, people live longer. This is something our society is aiming at, but as birth rate is decreasing it poses a challenge regarding the balance between people who are able to work and those who are retiring or retired. In face of this demographic change, a successful adaptation of multiple sectors is absolutely needed in order to guarantee – pardon the redundancy – the active and healthy ageing of all European citizens.

But communication shouldn’t be taking place only between healthcare professionals and patients – professionals and students from different fields of the healthcare sector should be talking amongst themselves, too. According to many, interprofessional collaboration at this level is vital in ensuring the multidisciplinary future of healthcare, because only in the context of open communication and collaboration can the best synergies truly be found. This goal is chaperoned by a need for restructuring these professions and the ways in which they interact, a process that should go from the bottom up – the change must start with the students, and the need for greater emphasis on areas such as clinical skills and personalised medicine triggered a powerful, widespread call for an educational reform.

One particular message resonated throughout this session in the European Parliament: “there has never been a better time to be a pharmacist”. As societal changes bring about the need for educational and professional ones, the opportunity is ripe for the taking. But the question remains to be answered: will we rise to the challenge?

Pedro Barroca EPSA Secretary General

During the presentations it was pointed out that, while the aforementioned change casts an ominous shadow over the future of Europe, it shouldn’t be merely viewed as a problem – the current situation also constitutes a golden opportunity to effect vital changes in the healthcare sector, which might eliminate the problem altogether or at the very least diminish its impact. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals in general need to adapt not only to the needs of an ageing population, but also to the better-informed patients that wish to be more involved in their own care. As technological barriers logically come into play, we must equally remind ourselves of the importance of proper information, making health literacy a priority in the years to come. Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that patient counselling is not a one-sided communication process anymore. Ensuring effective communication is paramount, and in that sense, EPSA’s Training Project was largely praised by the panelists as a valuable tool for improving the soft-skills of future healthcare professionals.


The EPSA Training Project Founder

Future aspects of the Training Project Even though the Training Project reaches a lot of pharmacy students around Europe, there is also a big group of people who are not able to benefit from it. This is why the ultimate goal is to get soft skills properly integrated into the pharmacy curricula so that all pharmacy students can obtain the skills needed in working life as well as to become even better healthcare professionals.

Meet Louise Winnecke Jensen “EPSA already had a certain focus on soft skill trainings when I attended my first congress in 2007. It was an important part of the educational strategy in EPSA, which I became in charge of when elected as VP of Education in 2008. My focus was initially more on the seven working committees, that existed at the time, but my participation in the first Leadership Summer School [], organized by trainers from other organizations, changed my perspective drastically.” -Louise Winnecke Jensen

Why did you feel the need to have such training as an official EPSA project? The power of the trainings at LSS blew me away. I realized that we had to develop this as a distinct programme, as it would be a way for EPSA to provide students with learning points far beyond what we could otherwise manage. I mean, the focus on personal as well as professional development, delivered to the students either on a local, a national, or a European level by students trained to deliver a topic they are passionate about. Question was not so much if it should be developed, but how we could manage it in the best possible way, and it was decided that adopting


trainings as an official EPSA project and appointing a training coordinator to develop it would be the optimal solution to kick start the program. How did you go from concept to reality? I undertook the role as the first training coordinator, following my mandate as VP. My mantra was from the beginning “Quality over quantity”, as I was determined to build a strong foundation for the program. It wasn’t always easy – many people were very enthusiastic, and wanted to expand as much as possible right away. Instead, what I did was collect information from other student NGOs, to learn from their ways and their experiences. I had a strong network of trainers from other associations who gave me advice, and for example helped me out with organising the first EPSA Train-ing New Trainers (TNT) event in September 2009. After the TNT, I had a team of en-thusiastic people who started delivering trainings in the EPSA events and on a local level, slowly spreading the knowledge about the training project all around. By now we are having the 4th TNT, and with a team of more than 20 trainers we can manage to deliver a lot of trainings each year, reaching many students. The biggest challenge for the trainers and the EPSA Training coordinator so far must have been the EPSA Summer University in 2011, where almost the entire program was training-based. It was a great success! I am proud and very happy to see that so many are as pas-sionate about trainings and the project, as I have been – and very thankful to the trainers and in particular the amazing training coordinators, who took up the challenge when my mandate ended.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of the EPSA Training project? I wish to see the project develop continuously. My focus is still more on quality than on quantity – if the quality drops, we will undermine the foundation of the project. Hence, while spreading the knowledge of what training opportunities we offer is im-portant, it is essential that we also focus on improving our training methods, e.g. by sharing our knowledge and experiences within EPSA, but also with trainers from other organisations. I hope to see a train-the-trainer event organised in the near future, offering the more experienced trainers a way of taking their skills to a new level. All this with the wish that the program can continue to enrich the lives of trainers and participants, as it has been for the past years!

In addition to this, future goals of the Training Project include increasing awareness of soft skills and trainings leading to increasing the amount of local trainings and in this way reaching also those who are not able to travel to congresses and other EPSA events abroad. Increasing collaboration with other student organizations, professional organizations as well as academia are also priorities within the project. Tiia Metiainen – EPSA Training coordinator

Interviewed by Charlene Galea EPSA Vice President of Public Relations


EAHP Annual Congress Milan, Italy

“Special patient groups– hospital pharmacists creating standards for care”. Important topic for discussion isn’t it? But if you add 3000 hospital pharmacists from all over Europe to the equation, the EAHP congress will show its true face: a place where European professionals decide on the direction hospital pharmacy will take in the future. In the glorious Fiera di Milano, everything seemed like the beautiful spring weather distracted hospital pharmacists from taking part in the opening ceremony. First look inside the plenary room proved that such a prediction was wrong. As the EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini noted in the opening speech, it is very plausible that hospitals around Europe are in trouble at the moment since all hospital pharmacists were in Milan attending the conference. Dr Frontini highlighted that the health care sector is rapidly changing. Knowledge and an individual approach to each and every patient is more important than ever and only highly skilled pharmacists that take care of their patients can cope with the modern challenges of pharmaceutical care. Once again the need of hospital pharmacy specialisation all across Europe was emphasized, and the 17th EAHP congress could begin, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the EAHP family.


While coffee was served at the expo area, EPSA’s networking activities were about to begin. Represented with a stand and variety of activities and projects in mind, professionals and companies were impressed with EPSA and its dynamic network. The size of the EPSA stand was compensated with the energetic approach and numerous activities of our association. During the next 3 days, a lot of things were done and a lot of great conversations took place. It was fantastic to have first-hand experience on what the modern tendencies in hospital pharmacy are and on how companies are putting their efforts together to improve patient care in hospitals. Meetings in the expo area made us lose the track of time and before we knew it, the congress came to an end. The importance of the role of hospital pharmacist in the health care system and the recognition hospital pharmacists are enjoying from the other colleagues involved were accentuated. While Milan was waiting to show us the Duomo and offer us the best pizza and coffee around, we were eager to go back home, to spread the message and feelings we got from the EAHP family. Until the next time, happy birthday EAHP and see you in Paris. Miloš Stojković EPSA Partnership coordinator


Unleash the Trainers! 4th EPSA TNT in Slovenia

While most of these trainings took place in Ljubljana, we also managed to spend some time training in the beautiful countryside. After receiving and participating in all relevant training sessions we were faced with a challenge- deliver a training session on an assigned topic to the group, in pairs and deliver it for the other participants.

Farhana Karmali (4th Year at the University of Reading, UK) and David Preece (Clinical Pharmacist, National Health Service) report back from EPSA’s 4th Training New Trainers (TNT) Event held in Ljubljana, Slovenia between 28th March – 1st April 2012

“To finish my story of TNT, I would describe it as ‘a life changing experience’ and I really urge others to get involved in trainings or become a trainer. You won’t look back! ” - Farhana

“What I expected to be a long EPSA training weekend in the city of Ljubljana turned out to be much, much more. “ Farhana


“Another EPSA event that surpassed expectations. I attended this event because of the trainings I had received at EPSA Summer University in Warsaw, Poland and now feel I have the skills, confidence and desire to utilise these to deliver trainings to other EPSA members and beyond. “- Dave Now that our training is complete, bewarewe may be heading to a Training event near you! All in all, this was an incredible opportunity for self-development, meeting lots of people, gaining life experience and learning to help others.

As a first time EPSA participant, I didn’t go in with many expectations. I had hoped to meet new people and learn how to deliver effective trainings to my peers. My expectations were more than exceeded! I left TNT feeling overwhelmed by all that I had learnt not only about trainings, but about myself. Furthermore, the friendships that had blossomed, sharing and gaining experiences of being pushed out of our comfort zone left me feeling content and a part of the EPSA family.

The training sessions were very intense; with great company, willingness to learn, coffee and determination we all had a fantastic time while constantly learning. In a nutshell, the aim of TNT was to train a group of individuals willing to become trainers of the future. Trainers are expected to deliver trainings on topics based around soft skills i.e. people skills. We were provided with trainings on several topics ranging from feedback methods to presentation skills and participant types.

To our surprise, we all surpassed our own expectations and secretly believe we even surprised the trainers – What a way to end the TNT!

Credit goes to the Trainers, Slovenian RC and the other participants- Thanks for a great EPSA event!

David Preece Farhana Karmali TNT participants

The trainings sessions were interactive, engaging all participants in stimulating discussions with the aim of making us think ‘outside the box’. It worked, symbolised by one of the trainers throwing away the box.

Although the task initially felt daunting we were quickly able to put theory into practice with guidance from the current trainers.


IMP Training

What do the other National IMP Coordinators think about the training? Luciana (Romania): “I think that through this training experience with the other IMP Coordinators I have become part of a real team”.

Have you ever asked how the Individual Mobility Well, our tasks are not only promoting the IMP’s Project (IMP) placements come true and who is offers but also finding new placements. So we have to communicate directly with associations’ members behind that? The IMP is the most professional mobility project in EPSA, dealing with internships in pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals. The goal is to gain new experiences and get well equipped to enter the world of work. Twice a month National IMP Coordinators (NIMP) have Skype meetings with Laura Scurtu, the EPSA Central IMP Coordinator, and Diana Mereu, the EPSA Vice President of Mobility. In March the IMP Board moved away from computers. We decided to meet in Brussels, Europe’s core, coming from all over the continent. We had the opportunity to get to know each other better, developed trust and most importantly met friends who work for the same goal: promoting IMP in our countries and find new placements. The first day was dedicated to our regular “Agenda”. We discussed internal IMP issues and we concluded by proposing concrete ideas that will hopefully be implemented in the near future. It was different from the Skype meeting we have regularly, because we had the chance to explain our ideas better through face-to-face communication. Communication was also the first topic of NIMP’s Training, followed by Networking, Motivation and Negotiation. Are you wondering why a National IMP Coordinator needs training like that?


too, to motivate them to apply for IMP and Companies, with whom we negotiate and create a link with EPSA.

We got over our cultural differences, we put ourselves in each other’s shoes and we had fun too. We learnt how preparation for a National IMP Coordinator is fundamental as well as how to be able to go from strategy to facts. IMP Training was not just an excuse to know each other better but also a moment where we could share our skills, results, hopes and experiences.

Claudia (Switzerland): “I learned a lot from the elevator speech*. It is nice to meet people from the group in person and have a good time with them”. Neli (Bulgaria): “Thanks to this training we got to know each other better and have set some goals for ourselves for the future”. Gabriela (Czech Republic): “We had great teambuilding activities which encourage us to work harder”.

… And for our trainer, Laura? “IMP Training in Brussels made me proud again to be CIMP for EPSA. I discovered the beauty of working with an enthusiastic team, of sharing knowledge, the excitement of implementing ideas into practice and of planning new strategies for the future. The training resulted in a team, a powerful one, because we have all the skills and abilities to be the best. I strongly believe that IMP Training has to become an annual event because I could see the results of it with my eyes!” Thanks to Laura, Milos, Bojan and Guilherme, we had a stimulating training that enriched our competence and made us braver and ready to approach new partners for IMP. So are you ready for news about IMP? The IMP board is very motivated to improve it and… “Motivation is contagious”!

Deniz (Turkey): “After this I feel motivated and ready to arrange a new IMP Placement”.

Giulia Malaguarnera National IMP coordinator – AISFA, Italy

*It consists in trying to approach a Company and explain in a few minutes who you are, what do we offer and learn what they would like to have from us.



From concept to reality The collaboration between EPSA and Listening Pharma finds its seeds in the ideas of a former IPSF Executive Member, currently Market Research Executive in Listening Pharma, Mehdi Zeghal. Shared with Beatrice Chemla, Listening Pharma CEO and with the EPSA Team 2010-2011 the idea began to make its way towards reality. After one year and a half of collaboration, through an IMP placement in Listening Pharma’s offices in Paris, the idea is now reality: the sMaRt project.

The main goal of sMaRt is to connect EPSA members with the field of pharmaceutical market research through a theoretical and practical learning experience at a European level. In order to make this goal achievable, the activities have been grouped in three successive stages: Discover- a student tailored educational programme, Explore- insights into the activities of a market research company and Connect- the fieldwork for Listening Pharma’s market studies in Europe.

Launched at the 8th EPSA General Assembly, in October 2011 and promoted at a local level with the help of LSs and IMP coordinators, the project reached a number of 75 applicants from 15 European countries. The participants’ selection done by Listening Pharma was quite a difficult mission, given the applicants’ high level of motivation. However, 48 students were chosen to be enrolled in sMaRt’s first edition. When talking about the reasons that lead to her application,Tanya Shulka (UK) stated “I applied for sMaRt due to the great opportunity it provided to pharmacy students from all over Europe to widen their perspectives about pharmaceutical marketing research. The fact that Listening Pharma caters to a cohort of the most prestigious pharmaceutical industries furthered my motivation to apply to these virtual classes”. Boris Živadinović (Serbia) finds “the sMaRt project very innovative, being that before this idea, no such project, which would include pharmacy students from most of the European countries in a real and a practical task, existed (…) and last but not the least, there was the opportunity to earn some money in my student days by doing something I would actually enjoy.” During one month the participants attended four virtual classes designed in order to offer them an overview of the market studies’ importance in the marketing strategy of pharmaceutical companies with a special focus on the fieldwork activity. The educational programme was prepared by Nathalie Pélissier, professor in Master of Business Administration, Marketing and Healthcare Communication teaching “Market Research applied to Pharma Industry” at the Pôle Léonard de Vinci - Paris.

Generally speaking about the project, Boris Živadinović stated that “Until now, this project met my expectations in all fields, except one, and that would be its speed, or better said, its dynamics. Maybe my excitement about the whole project had influence on me judging this point of view, being that things tend to seem slower when you are excited and expecting them to go as fast as you can take.” Furthermore, Boris added: “The first educational part of the project was about what I expected in quality. (…) I must say that I am a person who likes to ask a lot of questions about everything, because I like things to be perfectly clear. This was the case with the sMaRt classes as well, and I must say that I got satisfying answers to all of my questions from the classes’ moderator. ” After five months of official existence, sMaRt most important outcome is the first generation of sMaRt investigators, ready to be involved in the market studies in fifteen countries around Europe.

Sînziana-Ioana Oncioiu sMaRt Project Manager

After completing this first step, Tanya Shulka believes that “The virtual classes were extremely informative and provided an invaluable insight into carrying out fieldwork in pharmaceutical market reasearch. The e-classes were very well organised and were open to any doubts or queries, which enhanced my learning. It was simply worth the extra time invested.”



Training Corner

For example: Our goal is to inform core members of the project about its progress. The meeting will be short and informative, with only few key people attending that are part of the project.

Effective Meetings

Every day there are 11 million meetings in U.S. (according to a survey carried out by Microsoft in 2010). 69% of them could be more effective according to the participants. Developing effective meetings doesn’t only demand 1 type of skill but is rather a combination of a whole pack of skills that we need to possess. The basic needed skills are organization and planning skills, time management and facilitation skills. We will briefly cover them in the next few paragraphs. As always when developing new skills the “trial & error” approach will give us most experience and combined with repetition and continuity, we will gain knowledge that will help us design our meetings to be more effective and flow seamlessly.

“When” & “Where” - last but not least we need to set a time and place for our meeting. The place of the meeting will set the atmosphere. A conference room would translate to a serious/business like meeting, while a bar will add to a relaxed and chatty atmosphere where you can also share non-meeting related topics. Using the simple rule of the “5 W’s” we set the basic structure to our meeting while optimizing our resources. As for many projects, the first and most important foundation on which we can build it, is a GOAL. Setting goals for each meeting will help us with decisions on topics and participants for our meeting. The desired outcome will be our guideline for the whole meeting and will determine all other “W’s” in the rule.

While deciding on topics that we want to discuss at a meeting, we should assign them a certain time frame, that will add up to the planned duration of the whole meeting and also will give some overview on what topics are more important to us in the final outcome. Here, the time management skills kick in. We all live in a hi-tempo environment and nothing is more irritating than meetings with no end, that conflict with our other scheduled activities. Setting time frames and cutting pointless discussions is crucial to keep participants happy enough to attend and participate in our future meetings. The participants can be sure that we stick to our schedule and they can plan their activities after the meeting with no fear they will have to reschedule them because of delay at our meeting.

For example: No phones/laptops, only 1 person speaking at a time etc. When we lack facilitation skills, it is recommended to seek help from an external facilitator, that is attending the meeting just to keep the meeting on track, and help guide it to the desired outcomes. In general developing skills to design and produce effective meetings will take us on a journey of learning, experimenting and tweaking, but results will be much appreciated by participants of our meetings. In addition, our productivity will increase and frustration will decrease when we will master our meetings. Comment from one of the participants on an “effective meetings” training: “I can’t believe that by applying the “5 W’s” rule I managed to decrease the time of our meetings by 30%. Adding an external facilitator reduced the meeting time from a pointless 4 hours of frustration to 2 and a half hour productive meetings.”

To help us plan meetings, we can use the “5 W’s” rule (Why, Who, What, When and Where). “Why” covers our goal, sets the desired outcomes of the meeting and limitations to all the other “W’s” “Who” selects our participants that we want present at a specific meeting. Many times we tend to invite too many participants, for whom the meeting isn’t really relevant and that this would only result in a few really bored participants that have no clue why they had to attend our meeting.

Blaž Rošer EESTEC Trainer

“What” is our topic selection.


Talking about cutting discussions brings us to the last important skill - facilitation. Sitting at a meeting where 5 people are constantly talking about unrelated topics and others just sit and listen can be really boring and frustrating. Setting some basic rules at the beginning of each meeting will spike our productivity and shorten pointless discussions, and this is what will result in more productive and efficient meetings.


Trainings going local Since not all pharmacy students are able to For contacts and questions, don’t hesitate to send an travel to EPSA events abroad it is important to e-mail to the EPSA Training Coordinator at training@ organize training events on a local level as well. This increases awareness of trainings, soft skills and EPSA and if the trainer is coming from another NoPSA Annual Congress, Norway country, it increases home internationalism as well. Organizing a local training event doesn’t require a huge budget or vast resources. The length can be anything you want from two hours to several days and the topics tailored for the needs of your students. You can also include trainings to an event that is already taking place in your association.

EPSA trainings were also represented at the NoPSA (Norwegian Pharmaceutical Students’ Association) Annual Congress as an integral part of the program. The topic of the congress was clinical pharmacy and since soft skills are an essential part of clinical pharmacy trainings could be easily integrated into the program.

Tiia Metiäinen EPSA Training Coordinator

Here are the basic steps to organizing a local training event:

KOMISP trainings in Slovenia KOMISP is the Slovenian Association of international students organizations and it provides events including trainings on various topics to students of different subjects promoting inter-professional collaboration and exchange. Several EPSA trainers are also involved in KOMISP giving trainings while representing EPSA.

10 steps to organize a local training event 1. Decide who the training(s) will be targeted for 2. Decide how many participants you will have 3. Decide the topics you would like to have, you can also discuss these more with the EPSA Training Coordinator 4. Define a preliminary budget* 5. Look for a venue for the training(s)** 6. Plan how you will organize the logistics of the event (including materials, food, transportation etc.) 7. Contact the EPSA Training Coordinator to discuss the training program in more detail, the Training Coordinator will then open a call for trainers who will provide the content to the trainings 8. Promote the event among your members 9. Organize the event with the help of the EPSA trainers and Training Coordinator 10. Don’t forget follow-up and evaluation so that your successors can organize similar events and continuity is ensured to establish a permanent training culture in your country!


QUATRINO part II, Lithuania The theme of the QUATRINO part II between Lithuania, Turkey, Malta and Croatia was Youth against stress and depression. As a part of the program the organizers asked for some trainings related to the theme, so sessions called Stress Management – Personality and other factors and Emotional Intelligence – Increasing intrapersonal i.e. can prevent depression were developed to fit the event.

*Usually the organizer provides accommodation (can be a couch at a student’s place) and food at the event for the trainer; also trainer travel expenses are usually covered, at least partly. However, don’t let a small budget put you off, the EPSA Team can provide help regarding fundraising opportunities and help you figure out how to make ends meet. **An optimal venue for a training should be large enough for the people taking part in the trainings to move around, provide a calm atmosphere away from disturbances, has moveable chairs and possibly a flipchart holder, whiteboard and/or beamer.

FiPSA Exec training weekend, Finland The training weekend held at the beginning of the year for all past and future student board members in Finnish local and national pharmacy students’ associations has already become a tradition. Each year EPSA trainers devise a program to support and inspire student board members in their work. Topics in the most recent FiPSA (Finnish Pharmaceutical Students’ Associations) Executive training weekend included strategic planning, feedback skills, emotional intelligence, motivation and fundraising. The exec training weekend is also a nice possibility for members of different student boards around Finland to meet and have fun together.


In EPSA then, where now? Alumni Corner

Countless people have contributed to and been in touch with EPSA throughout the association’s 35 years of existence. Some have been active in EPSA, a member association or perhaps been at events. All these people have dedicated a part of their life to EPSA, and they have all contributed to the EPSA Spirit and to its development. These past EPSA students can now be found in all pharmaceutical areas, spread throughout Europe (and the world). EPSA has a tendency to change people’s life, shaping their future through the experiences the association offers. In this article we present some unique individuals that have been active in EPSA and succeeded in an area of pharmacy. In the end, two current Team members with ambitions for the future are presented. Anthony Amoureus The Netherlands In EPSA (then ESC) as: Chairperson 1979-1980 Where now? Anthony is currently working as the Director of Regulatory & Medical Affairs at Eurocept International, where his main responsibilities are working with regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, production, quality, pricing and reimbursement, medical information, medical affairs and product development at a worldwide scale. He is also leading small teams and coordinating activities with partner companies. ”ESC has let me interact with pharmacy students from different countries. It taught me to appreciate different cultures and sharpened my senses for languages. We are all humans, we are all


pharmacists, though with different backgrounds and different prospects. But we chose pharmacy as a profession and that is bringing us together, wherever we are. Practicing as a pharmacist, in particular in industry, comes with a multidisciplinary environment. The excitement of collectively working towards meeting goals started when I worked in ESC.” Niamh Fitzgerald Ireland In EPSA then as: President1997/1998 Past President1998/1999 EPSA Honorary Life Member, since 2000 Where now? Niamh is running a health improvement consultancy business called Create Consultancy. Create provides training, research and consultancy services to councils and health boards on health improvement/health promotion issues such as alcohol, drugs and sexual health. “Career-wise, I can honestly say I do not know what I would be doing or how I would have found my way if it were not for EPSA. It is the reason I did my PhD, and without that I wouldn’t have ended up doing what I do. So EPSA gave me knowledge of what I enjoyed doing and I was able to seek that out in my later career e.g. managing an enthusiastic team to do worthwhile work. Equally importantly are the skills and confidence EPSA gave me – I learned how to type faster, how to speak confidently, write reports, give presentations, manage difficult situations and most of all learned about myself. It was an amazing grounding in so many transferable skills that I have continued to develop and use to this day.” Source: EPSA NWL V17E2

Ivana Silva Portugal In EPSA then as: EPSA Vice-President1998/1999 RC Chairperson of the Annual Congress 2001 EPSA Honorary Life Member, since 2001 Member of the EPSA Board of Trustees, since 2004 Where now? Ivana is working at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as Scientific Administrator. Her main responsibility areas are public information and networking with healthcare professionals’ organisations. Until 2011 she was working for the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU). “EPSA brings together students from all over Europe to discuss ideas, broaden their horizons and, by the simple fact of socializing, discover other realities and strengthen links of international cooperation. I think it is working in multicultural environment, sometimes it is very stressful, we have to cope with languages, lack of resources, different people with different ways of working, national realities etc. It is really group of factors. I can honestly tell you that I am at PGEU today because of EPSA! Source: EPSA NWL V16E3

leads me to places I did not imagine before. I will build up something on my own after graduating, something international and creative. With the skills, the open mind and the friends I gained from my time in EPSA, this seems very promising.” Inkatuuli Heikkinen Finland In EPSA now as: EPSA Training Officer 2010/2011 EPSA Education and Professional Affairs Coordinator 2011/2012 “When I started studying pharmacy, I knew I would not work in community pharmacy. In my determined path from local level to European level I have steadily increased the level of knowledge - the more I learned, the more curious I became. Now, ending 5 years in total in students’ organisations, I look back. Almost every day I use the people skills I have learned in EPSA in my work. I constantly learn about new opportunities, which I could never have dreamt of before. EPSA has revealed so many existing doors to me, not to mention the resources and network I have build during my time in EPSA, I feel that it really has been a shortcut in my career!”

What about your future?

Stefan Rack Germany In EPSA now as: EPSA Design Officer 2011/2012 “EPSA enriched my life in every possible way - from concrete skills to contacts and real friends throughout Europe to, most importantly, real changes in my mind and ways of thinking. Thinking about my future, I do not see borders anymore, I would - and want to - work everywhere and the hunger for new experiences

Anette Aaland Krokaas EPSA Alumni Officer


Rare Disease Day 2012 Rare but strong together

As we all know, 2012 is a leap year, meaning that we had the special opportunity to mark the Rare Disease Day on the 29th of February. Although rare, this day is celebrated every year on the 28th of the same month by numerous student and professional associations, with the invaluable help of EURORDIS, a non-governmental patient-driven alliance of patient organisations and individuals active in the field of rare diseases. This year, the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association joined the large group supporting this cause and tried to make a difference. Rare diseases have several characteristics such as no existing effective cure, life-threatening, disabling, absence of practical support and most of them affect children. Some rare diseases may even be masked by other common diseases which often lead to misdiagnosis.

Various associations have organized a booth on that day to promote this event and also help raise awareness of the rare disease concept. Posters, flyers and Facebook promotion were the highlight of the day. Marking this special day with numerous events spread all around Europe helped people realize the importance of understanding and learning more about these diseases that although rare are very harmful for the patient as well as the family.

Cristina Parau EPSA Social Services & Public Health coordinator

With the slogan Rare but strong together, this year EPSA with the help of the Liaison Secretaries has implemented the Rare Disease campaign in several European countries. We started the work on the project about 3 weeks in advance in order to be fully prepared on the day. Therefore, we all started contributing to EURORDIS’ campaign by registering EPSA as a Friend of Rare Disease Day. Afterwards, I prepared 4 flyers – 1 with general information and 3 with specific diseases – Hereditary angioedoema, Huntington’s disease and Narcolepsy. These were chosen through voting from a longer list of diseases. We decided to target a smaller number of diseases in the hope that our efforts to raise awareness will prove more fruitful.



New ways on treating diseases

Make your student experience count!

The way mankind and especially health related experts have been perceiving the treatment of a disease, has changed rapidly following the developments and innovations that took place in the medical field throughout the years.

My name is Lily Bogdanova and I am an executive member of the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Students’ Association. I am in my second mandate now as a Public Relations Officer. I discovered EPSA three years ago, when I was accepted to study pharmacy at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Medical University of Sofia, in Bulgaria.

Patient targeted therapy

In ancient times, an illness was thought to derive from the Gods that were unhappy with humans and were punishing them by making them sick. It was then up to the shaman (the tribe’s doctor) to appease the Gods and cure the patient. The first widely acknowledged doctor throughout history was Hippocrates from Greece who tried to explain what caused pain to humans and how to treat their symptoms. That way a new era started in disease treatment. Illness was no longer a God sent punishment but had specific causes and symptoms. Health experts of the time and the years that followed tried to cure a patient by treating either the cause of an illness, for example a blocked artery that caused a heart attack or the symptom, for example pain that was caused by an accident. Nowadays however, a new perception is growing more and more popular amongst health experts. According to this new theory there are no illnesses but there are patients. Each patient is a unique case and even people with the same disease must be treated differently.


The patient’s DNA plays a great role in this patient – targeted perception of therapy. Every human being has unique genetic material that determines the strategy that will be followed to cure or treat a disease. The combination of drugs or treatments a patient needs, is based on this model, dictated by the absence or presence of one or more genes. For example, a new drug for cystic fibrosis was recently studied, that is only effective on patients that can produce the protein CFTR (a protein highly related with the appearance of cystic fibrosis) which is able to reach the cell’s membrane but doesn’t function correctly. The same drug won’t be effective on patients whose CFTR is unable to reach the membrane of the cell. Patient targeted therapy is a breakthrough in disease treatment and is a field that has yet a lot to offer in future medicine.

Maria Manataki EPSA Science coordinator

Members’ page

In my first year, my impressions of the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association were related to the humanitarian projects, that all the local associations were dealing with, such as the celebration of World Diabetes Day, International Anti-smoking Day and a lot of other different campaigns. One of the very important annual projects, that I am very fond of helping at, is the World Diabetes Day. Usually we organize an open lecture, in which everyone is allowed to participate, for which we invite professionals in Diabetes to give their viewpoint on the topic. Last year we held an educational session for the students to measure the blood sugar with glucose meter.

I will never forget my first EPSA official event that I participated in. It was the 12th EPSA Summer University. I had the opportunity to be both a participant and part of the Reception Committee as a PR Officer. I was impressed with the fact that EPSA events combine scientifically orientated lectures, experience gaining workshops as well as social activities. Apart from this I had the chance to be part of a dedicated Reception Committee and feel being an important part of the organization. The next EPSA event, I participated in, was the biggest congress in the history of EPSA – the Annual Assembly in Lisbon. Now three years later, I am very glad because I am having the chance to be the President of the 12th Autumn Assembly, which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria in the end of October. I am ready to give everything that depends on me, to use all the experience I gained during the years in EPSA and I hope to make another unforgettable event in the history of EPSA.

Liliya Valerieva Bogdanova Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Sofia Bulgaria

My first official meeting with the EPSA spirit was during the Quattrino PUSH project –a project in which the participants were from Portugal, Sweden, Turkey and Bulgaria. During this project I spent an amazing week in Portugal, visiting Coimbra, Lisbon and Porto, learning lot about diabetes. We also spent a wonderful week in Sofia, where the theme was ‘Obesity’. All of this combined with sightseeing and countless parties.


Community pharmacy is changing How and why? - straight from PGEU “I love my job at PGEU – the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union. I love it because I am a pharmacist, my father is a pharmacist, and many of my friends are pharmacists. I feel as if I work for them and for myself every day. I want to think that my work can make a change in how pharmacists are perceived and that I can contribute to raising awareness of great work that is done by my colleagues in practice.”

Meet Jurate Svarcaite

What are the current issues that community pharmacy and PGEU are facing nowadays? Pharmacists have moved away from counting pills or compounding (even though it is still an important function of the profession). The pharmacist’s role has expanded, and pharmacists across Europe deliver a range of innovative services, including medication use reviews, chronic disease management programmes, immunization services and wellness programs. The UK government has approved pharmacist prescribing with varying scopes of authority, a service that complements the care provided by doctors. Despite being a well recognised profession and widely utilized source of health advice by their patients,


pharmacy until now has been unable to successfully advocate its changing patient care role effectively with political decision-makers. Community pharmacy has maintained a relatively low profile on regional and national political landscapes. And this is a great challenge for national pharmacy associations as well as PGEU. Increasing prescription volumes, the aging population, changing health risk factors and tight health budgets add extra pressure to the profession. We wish to be able to demonstrate to national governments that pharmacy is part of the solution and that it is a largely underused resource in the modern health system. This observation does not withstand the fact that we are gradually possessing greater strength in the political area. PGEU is involved in a record number of legal dossiers at the EU Institutional level ranging from the implementation of the new Pharmacovigilance legislation, review of the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive to the Water Framework Directive. I am pleased to say that PGEU is widely recognized as a constructive and highly efficient stakeholder at the EU level. Would it be realistic to expect that community pharmacists will not be needed in some years considering the increased amount of medicine sales in shops, gas stations, over the internet etc? I would like to address this question retrospectively and go back in time… when pharmacy practice was largely compounding medicines according to medical prescriptions. The physician was the one to provide information about medicines and treatment to the patient... Nowadays, the majority of medications are prepared industrially and pharmacies are full of boxes of ready-made medicines. Yet community pharmacies and pharmacists still exist. Pharmacy practice is move away from being all about medicines to being all about ‘the patient’.

For these reasons, I think that the internet, other points of sale or robotised dispensing are not a threat, but rather a driver of change in community pharmacy practice. I must admit, I find shocking the fact that you can refuel your car, get a bottle of beer and a box of emergency contraception in the same location. I am convinced that pharmacy costumers will keep turning to their pharmacies for the general health advice and their medication.

closely with the profession especially with advanced practitioners, particularly in the areas of experiential education, development of new patient-centered practice models, and student professionalism and leadership. In addition, as pharmacists are expected to work in healthcare teams and in collaboration with other health professionals, I would suggest that considerable amount of pharmacy training takes place in interdisciplinary settings.

Is there a growing trend of moving towards pharmacy services in the pharmacies? You can receive your seasonal flu shot at a Portuguese community pharmacy administered by a pharmacist, can have your medication reviewed and single doses prepared in pharmacies in Spain, Finland, etc. Wellestablished palliative care specialised pharmacy network is available for terminally ill Irish patients. Blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure checking is a routine in majority of European community pharmacies. And this is definitely increasing.

Interviewed by Bojan Davinic EPSA Vice President of External Affairs

How much do you think quality of pharmaceutical education in Europe has influence on quality of service offered in the community pharmacies? Can this be influenced somehow? The focus of the community pharmacy practice is moving towards the role of direct patient care and medicines management. This does not mean that understanding the science and technology of medicines action and delivery has become less important. In order to release the professional potential of pharmacists to deliver high quality pharmaceutical care and services, it is important that pharmacy education in Europe prepares graduates to assume increased responsibility for patient care. Pharmacy education has undergone evident curricular change; subjects such as clinical pharmacy, therapeutics, pharmaceutical care, etc have become part of established pharmacy curriculum in the last decades. Not much attention has been devoted to the development and growth of attitudes and values of pharmacists as professionals. If this is to be influenced, pharmacy educators must work more


TWINNET and Voyage

EPSA Executive Contacts

Voyage, Voyage! It has started! Unsurprisingly, one of the first to take advantage of the new mobility feature at EPSA was one of the founders, Jurij Obreza, who went to Netherlands to deliver trainings for the local association. It so happened that someone from the locals had an account on Voyage and the rest was easy. You can read through his full testimony on

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 Office Rue du Luxembourg 19-21, 1000 Bruxelles, BELGIUM

A quick look at EPSA Mobility Projects

What are the steps to take in order to organize a Twinnet? • • • • • • • • • •

Establish the first contact with students you want to have a TWIN with Contact your Liaison Secretary and start looking for the students who are interested to TWIN Find people who would like to be part of organising committee. Make a provisional plan which includes accommodation, food, visits, interesting topics for discussions or lectures, trips, evening events and sport events Do not look just for financial support, think also about non-financial help (companies, associations, grants, national pharmaceutical organisation) Make a plan for the social and educational part of the Twin Establish regular correspondence with your guests Arrange a warm reception for your guests Try to stick to the program, but be flexible or open for changes Enjoy your Twin!

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, fill 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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