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bringing pharmacy, knowledge and students together Volume 21 | Edition 2 | February 2014

mHealth Towards a brighter future this newsletter is produced by EPSA and is distributed to all EPSA members, national pharmaceutical students’ organisations, faculties, official bodies and partners

Advocacy Platform for pharmacy students

EPSA and EMSA Our professional collaboration starts now

European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Table of contents Presidential Words



Autumn Assembly Valencia 2013

6 Turkish Public Health Campaign


New member

8 Hosting an EPSA event 22 IPSA Ireland Advocacy 23 TNT 10 Event Calendar 27 mHealth 12 Members’ Page 28 WHSS 14 What has been going on the last months? Individual Mobility Project

16 Contact Info


Editor’s words Dear reader, It is my pleasure to present you the second edition of this mandates’ EPSA Newsletter. Being in the middle of the “EPSA year”, we have tried to sum up all the things that happened in the association so far - and there is a lot! We welcome three new members: Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Cyprus. All were approved during our Autumn Assembly in Valencia, Spain, on which we receive some insight from one of our “newbies”. We dedicate a lot of space to EPSA’s connection to the professional sphere this time. The topic of the Annual Reception, EPSA’s “event of excellence”, is being discussed by our President in this edition. The “Individual Mobility Project”, one of our most popular for professionals, is featured as well.

Our collaboration with Medical Students, Public Health Campaigns by our Members and an overview on different approaches on the topic “Advocacy” there are many more interesting topics debated from different angles in this Newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it and get a good idea of what we are doing, what our members are up to - and I guarantee you, that is not all we could mention here, by far. My sincere thanks to all contributors to this Newsletter, may it be from the EPSA Team, our Editorial Board or all the different authors.

Stefan Rack EPSA Vice-President of Public Relations Special thanks to: Svenja Laarhuis - Design and Editing Maria Pace, Aneeza Yusuf, Anne Downing, Robert Nobrega, Daniel Barreira, Amalia Stroescu Editorial Board 3

Presidential words Student – find your voice! According to Professor Schobben from the University of Utrecht, when medical and pharmacy students had to work on clinical cases together on a common course, a trend seemed to emerge: pharmacy students prefer to think, whereas medical students prefer to act. Pharmacy students seem to want to find out more information and postpone decisionmaking to be sure, whereas medical students prefer to take risks and make quick decisions. Of course it is important that pharmacists are meticulous and doctors able to make fast decisions, but the contrast should not be so stark. There is an attitude that pharmacy students seem to adopt during their studies: self-devaluation. It plagues our profession - we learn that our task is to check, poke and hope that someone listens to what we have to say. But you know better. Where do these attitudes come from? What can we do to change it? Because we do need to change it. Our profession is changing, our society and its priorities are changing too. If we don’t do it ourselves, someone else will.

Who are the people who make the macro-level decisions on financial investment or social priorities? Usually, not pharmacists. We need to get out there and share what we know because everything from the economic crisis to agriculture has an impact on health. It is easy to remain passive and think: “I’ll just do my job and mind my own business”, but we cannot afford that. Discussions and decisions taken in our absence affect our everyday life and work. Thus we need to identify where to put our knowledge to best use for all of society. We can start by using our voices as students: through our local and national students’ associations, faculties and professional associations. EPSA has a General Assembly as well as a student advocacy platform represented by its members and relays its opinions through various forms, such as position papers and statements. As future healthcare professionals, students’ opinions are as important as any other stakeholder’s, when discussing and planning for change. It all starts with a shift in attitude and the sooner we make it happen, the better!

We are used to relatively practical work and we are taught to focus on our tasks, with high precision! There is one problem with that - health is not just one component you can look at from a single perspective - it is a part of everything that relates to human beings and human societies. We know a great deal about healthcare and we are taught to use it in a very specific way. For example, even if you would be involved in developing the best innovative new drug that would improve lives drastically, but the social and legal systems do not support its use, there would be no health impact – hence there needs to be dialogue.


Tiia Metiäinen EPSA President

Autumn Assembly Valencia 2014 The European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) was introduced to Cyprus International University by the associate dean almost a year ago. ‘Its main objective is ‘to develop the interests and opinions of European pharmacy students and to encourage contact and collaboration between them’.’ During the first year, the CIU Faculty of Pharmacy aimed to be a part of it. However, due to unexpected issues, it failed to become active in EPSA, even though the students were excited to get to know more about EPSA and to be a part of it. Still, the CIU Faculty of Pharmacy finally managed to make its first active step on the 2013 Annual assembly in Valencia, Spain.

EPSA is a strong, perfectly organised association and so all information was given clearly and with no hesitation. Even so, the first participants of the faculty, as CIUPSA cortege, were still excited and somehow stressed on what was more to come once


being active in EPSA. EPSA had already created an idea for all students about what it could be. However, once participating and attending to the first event in Valencia, it was obvious that it was much more than what students could ever think of! It is not only about being active during participation and self-learning, but also to explore and achieve more goals as a student, as a person and as a future health professional. Considering it was the first active step of CIUPSA in Valencia, Spain; from the very first day to the last day of the event, we had a lot of challenges to overcome. EPSA has given hundreds of students a great chance to open a door for a whole new world to explore. The moment when you arrive and join with the rest of your potential colleagues, is the moment when, seductively, the new adventure is presented to you. Transportation for each session was well organised and the sightseeing tours were extremely interesting. Once the first step is taken in attending and being in the real atmosphere of EPSA, it gives the feeling of responsibility and active communication. Considering the Academic sides of this event, it was sharp to see how responsibility, punctuality and education come together. Symposiums, workshops

and trainings were impressing and proved to be the strongest bridge to self-learning within exploring the new academic environment. As part of the scientific world, we think the speakers in the symposium were very well chosen so that the importance of health, medicine and of the pharmacist in the middle of this circle could be emphasized.

It is not only about being active during participation and selflearning, but also to explore and achieve more goals as a student, as a person and as a future health professional. When it comes to the General Assembly, being given the fact that it was the first time attending one, it was fascinating and pleasantly surprising the way in which it makes a person feel unanimous, mature and strong with the freedom of speech and debate.

Apart from all these great opportunities in EPSA, when it comes to the social activities, there comes the challenge. Being social is being an active communicator - therefore the event’s atmosphere

was a dense socialising experience for students that involved networking and getting to know hundreds of other pharmacy students from all across Europe. The nightly social events played a great role in leaving behind the stress and tiredness of the full symposium days and gave us the opportunity to enjoy the night and multicultural company. EPSA itself creates a friendly and free atmosphere for each individual to seek and find what they need. Lastly, when it comes to being a part of EPSA and attending the events it is not that easy to translate that feeling onto paper and make others feel the way you once felt. EPSA in Valencia was one of the best moments and the more I try to describe it, the harder it gets. EPSA cannot be told, yet it can be genuinely experienced. As the motto says “Bringing Pharmacy, Knowledge and Students Together�, it is not only perfect at achieving its own motto, but also in creating and representing beyond it. EPSA is not an option anymore, it is a must for Cyprus International University.

Gizem Karagozlu LS of CIUPSA Cyprus


New member IPSA | Irish Pharmaceutical Students’ Association One small step for Ireland but one giant leap for Irish Pharmacy Students. The idea of IPSA (Irish Pharmaceutical Students Association) took root early in April 2013 when a group of students from our three Irish pharmacy schools began talks about hosting an event between the three colleges. From these talks, members of Trinity’s DUPSA, RCSI’s PharmSoc and Cork’s Pharmacy society came together and discussions went from hosting an event to forming a full-blown national student’s society that could do far more for Irish Pharmacy Students. From this IPSA was born. Every pharmacy student in Ireland is now a member of IPSA. One of the most exciting advantages that IPSA can offer us as Irish pharmacy students is allowing us to join the European Pharmaceutical Students Association. I feel that many Irish pharmacy students struggle to see the world of pharmacy internation-

ally. In the past, there has been a limited number of opportunities open to Irish students outside of this

One of the first things that struck these Irish students on their arrival at the EPSA conference was how welcoming everyone was to them. small island. IPSA are working towards creating a bigger picture for Irish pharmacy students, and EPSA are helping us fulfil this goal. Our EPSA journey began with a single email from a student enquiring how to join EPSA. This email advanced to three of our IPSA members travelling to Valencia to attend the EPSA Autumn Assembly. We found that everybody at home was extremely supportive of our hopes to become members of IPSA, including our schools of pharmacy. Mena M. Eskander (TCD), Avril Burgess (RCSI) and Jason Hayes (UCC) departed Dublin airport on Halloween night to travel to Spain, and introduce Irish pharmacy students to Europe. One of the first things that struck these Irish students on their arrival at the EPSA conference was how welcoming everyone was to them. A number of members had met before at the FIP conference in Dublin, August ’13, as well as being in contact through emails etc., but to actually be in another country on their turf was much different. Friday night was spent getting to know new people from all across Europe, wearing pyjamas in a club in Valencia in approximately 30°C heat. Not a typical Friday night in Ireland, but one thoroughly enjoyed and not to be forgotten.


On the whole, 2013 turned out to be a great year for Irish pharmacy students. The year began with three individual societies in our three separate schools. During the summer months the three societies came together to form one national organisation, IPSA. We held our launch event, the first of its kind to be open to all pharmacy students in the country. In autumn, we became the newest EPSA members. From individual schools, to national and European organisations, we look forward to continuing to develop the future of pharmacy students across Ireland and Europe.

Some of the words used to describe the General Assembly on Saturday were exciting, terrifying, cool, spectacular, overall something definitely worth experiencing. Here our three IPSA representatives made their presentation and answered questions. This was followed by a discussion among the assembly and we were voted in as the newest members of EPSA and welcomed into the EPSA family.

Some of the words used to describe the General Assembly on Saturday were exciting, terrifying, cool, spectacular, overall something definitely worth experiencing. This news came with huge excitement to the pharmacy students of Ireland. EPSA opens up doors that have been closed to all our students. We look forward to working with EPSA to encourage and provide a path for our fellow Irish students to experience the world of pharmacy all across Europe, and help European students experience the profession of pharmacy at home with us in Ireland.

Here’s to EPSA and the many more exciting years to come between Ireland and Europe. This won’t be the final leap of faith we will take!

Six members of our IPSA committee at our launch event

Tara McEnteggart PR Officer IPSA


TNT New generation trainers raised in Sintra, Portugal Training New Trainers (TNT) is a unique Simply put - the better your soft skills, the better concept to encourage and support the your chance of reaching your ultimate career goal! development of future trainers within EPSA. The aim of the programme is to build a pool Simply put - the better your soft of trainers with advanced knowledge of soft skills, the better your chance of skills, acquired through attending training reaching your ultimate career goal! events and carrying out sessions, but also to share this knowledge with regular students My background: around Europe. Why is this relevant to me? It’s widely acknowledged that soft skills are a good predictor of future success – from social skills, the ability to present, maintain the attention of an audience and effectively utilise social media. In pharmacy, academics and employers are continually stressing the importance of well-rounded individuals who are able to use superior knowledge of medicines to confidently and accurately describe information and instructions to patients.

I’m just an average 2nd year student studying pharmacy, much like yourselves. I haven’t quite figured out my future career goal yet, whether that may be working in community pharmacy, hospital, industry or abroad. All I know is I need to give myself the best possible chance to succeed in whichever field I finally decide to go into and a way I identified to do this was to participate in the TNT programme! With this in mind, I successfully applied to the sixth edition of TNT in Sintra, Portugal, and came away with what can only be described as an once-in-alifetime experience. The people you meet at TNT: I went into the event not knowing what to expect. I had previously only been to one EPSA event, but this time I was to go alone, to a foreign country and spend an entire week with complete strangers! An eye-opening moment came within my first day of arriving in Portugal, when I met and spent an entire day with two pharmacy students who could hardly speak English! And trust me when I say that some hilarious moments followed! Once the event started to come to a close, I quickly realised that EPSA TNT really brings together the


most exceptional and creative people you are ever likely to meet. The interesting thing was that the students didn’t even discover this about themselves until having participated in TNT that week. We were all from such diverse backgrounds and abilities that it really made the event a huge learning experience for everyone. Becoming an EPSA Trainer: Becoming a future EPSA trainer is not as daunting as it sounds – it gives you the opportunity and flexibility to attend events around Europe and share experiences about your favourite topics. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge responsibility to be in charge of the development of a group of students and a serious

Once the event started to come to a close, I quickly realised that EPSA TNT really brings together the most exceptional and creative people you are ever likely to meet.

Why you should apply to TNT: TNT gave me a great introduction and a chance to practice what it’s like to become an EPSA trainer. There were many educational tools and techniques shared from the amazing, experienced trainers that made it a pleasure to learn. There was help and guidance along the way and we still keep in touch to support each other as a group. I am proud to have been a part of the “WTF Generation” of EPSA Trainers!

one at that – but ultimately it’s just as rewarding to learn incredibly important life skills that you’ll be able to use long into the future and then to be able to pass those skills on is simply a bonus.

Simran Singh Buttar Participant of TNT


mHealth Healthcare of the future? Mobile health or mHealth is the support for health outcomes, services and research through mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. This is an area of health system innovation that is rapidly developing across Europe and the rest of the world. A plethora of mobile health and medical applications (apps) directed at both healthcare professional and patient use are already available and the number grows day by day. There is immense potential in mHealth related to, for example, patient adherence, medicines information, healthcare service optimisation and convenience, as well as delivery of cost savings and efficiency.

Just imagine the infinite possibilities: being on a vacation in Thailand and being able to scan a medicine package and receive the relevant information immediately on your phone, in your own language; a pregnant woman using an app on her phone to find out if she can breastfeed while taking a certain medication; your diabetic grandmother connecting her phone to a sensor which monitors her blood glucose levels. These are just a few of the early possibilities of mHealth.

According to some recent statistics, more people have access to mobile phones than to clean water in the world! It has been estimated by industry that by 2015, 500 million smartphone users will be using a healthcare application. mHealth is not restricted to smartphones only. For example, simple text message prompts can remind a patient to take their medicine, making it invaluable.

Whilst the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already issued some initial regulatory recommendations on the use and development of medical apps, in Europe such discussions are still in their earlier stages. Within the European Union, the European Commission’s Directorate General for


However, there are also many important questions to be addressed. When does a mobile phone become a medical device? Who oversees and assures the quality and safety of these applications? What are the legal and ethical implications for patient data confidentiality? What are the potential positive and negative implications for the medicines prescribing, distribution and administration processes?

Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG Connect) has assumed responsibility for itself for the ‘EU Digital Agenda’, an economic and industrial portfolio reaching far beyond mHealth alone. Separately the Commission’s Health Directorate (DG SANCO) is taking forward an ‘eHealth Action Plan’, and supporting various mHealth possibilities through the European Innovation

Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. Whilst the fruits of these early endeavours towards coordination are still in the process of delivery, questions remain as to whether Europe is either truly prepared for the development of mHealth, or taking full advantage of the possibilities. The European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) believes that all healthcare professionals – both current and future, need to be involved in setting the future operating arrangements for mHealth in order to ensure it is utilised in as safe and an effective way as possible. EPSA represents the healthcare professionals of the

future. Most current pharmacy students have grown up with mobile phones and applications and can be

considered ‘digital natives’. They use health apps to support their studies or for example to support the conduct of clinical rounds during an internship in a hospital. That is why our next Annual Reception – taking place in the European Parliament in the beginning of 2014 will be built around the theme of mHealth: to reflect on the key questions posed by mHealth, share views and experience, and help articulate the right way forward for European healthcare on this inescapable topic.

Tiia Metiäinen EPSA President


WHSS Healthcare students in Lausanne, Switzerland World Healthcare Student´s Symposium (WHSS), 8-13th of September 2013, Lausanne, Switzerland WHSS (World Healthcare Students Symposium) is the biggest international multi-professional students’ event. It involves students from medicine, pharmacy, nursing, chiropractic and the other healthcare professions. This year’s WHSS was held in the beautiful city of Lausanne in Switzerland from 8 - 13th of September 2013. The vision of this unique symposium is:

I believe that participants also gained valuable networks with other students from different future healthcare professions from the whole world! Bringing to you wonderful news, I am proud to announce that two new associations are interested in joining WHSS in the near future: chiropractic and veterinary students. You can grab your chance to join WHSS in 2015 (host country yet to be determined) to see the interesting turn of events this new collaboration will bring.

A future in which healthcare professionals worldwide cooperate with their colleagues in other healthcare disciplines for the benefit of patients! This year´s WHSS educational topic was ‘Demystifying interprofessional collaboration’. One could attend interesting lectures and workshops delivered by qualified speakers. I would like to share with you some take home messages which were very valuable for me: Dr. Michel Buchmann (president of FIP): Let’s not replace physicians, but help them to decrease their overload!

Picture: Swiss reception committee (SRC) and members of Joint Working Group (JWG)

Dr. Erica Wheeler (WHO Representative): I challenge you to look at: What kinds of not only academically but, all competences you need? As usual, during the evenings there was a wonderful social program. One of the most memorable nights for everyone was lovely Swiss night, full of cheese and chocolate. Everyone just loved it! You shall definitely try cheese fondue!


Katarína Lihocká EPSA Public Health and Social Services Coordinator

Individual Mobility Project EPSA’s Mobility project Mobility is a major topic amongst students in Hungary, bigger and bigger attention being drawn to it nowadays. Almost everyone wants to experience working abroad and this can highly broaden their knowledge. Even so, pharmacy students have the intention, but don’t necessarily have the chance to travel outside Hungary. When students find out about EPSA, the question about the opportunities it can provide rises immediately. After achieving a general idea about the European association, graduates complained that they were not able to benefit as much as present students can. In this case, they are usually introduced to IMP (Individual Mobility

Project), as it is mainly aimed at graduates, including those freshly graduated. Everybody agreed that we had to be more active with IMP and elect a National Coordinator to be in charge. A National Coordinator can increase the mobility chances of the young Hungarian pharmacists in becoming part of the project and becoming aware of the opportunities that IMP can offer. HuPSA hopes that by this tremendous possibility, recent graduates can notice how much they can gain from IMP and understand what an incredible opportunity awaits them. We plan to encourage them to use the outcomes of this project and to be able to learn more and accomplish their vision. When we decided to join IMP, I, as HuPSA’s LS, took over the National IMP Coordinator duty. I was truly honored to do this work. While I was making my transfer, an exciting surprise was waiting: my first applicant from Hungary had already approached me about an internship! I got in touch with her instantly, and even though I was trained by Sonja - Cental IMP Coordinator in EPSA, I felt overwhelmed to

About IMP: Connecting students and recent graduates, increasing students‘ mobility and give them the chance to gain experience in professional environments - the Individual Moblitiy Project (IMP) collects internship offers from companies, research institutions and NGOs. EPSA takes care of the pre-selection of applications and guides students through their experience abroad.


be responsible for someone’s application. That is a big liability. Thankfully, Sonja was there to answer all my questions which showed how dedicated she is. The IMP community is very active and welcoming, including the NIMPs, which makes fitting in extremely easy, and it seems that they are delighted with their work. By experiencing this, I feel lucky for my decision to join this project. The other side of the work that comes with this position is the different way you approach the new graduates (as it is quite hard in Hungary to board on an internship during your studies due to the universities’ regulations, which means being a National IMP Coordinator can even help in your personal development which will bring progress to your professional life as well. I can surely state now that IMP has more levels to unfold than one would think - and this comes from a fresh NIMP. To sum up, this position in our association has hundreds of ways to teach and expand one’s sight. That is why I hope many people will be eligible and eager to fill

this position in our association. Being an LS and a NIMP Coordinator at the same time has practical advantages, but I reckon that the work of the national IMP coordinator in HuPSA will require a separate person in the future as I can already presume that it will grow fast, so that it will allow more and more students to see how much IMP can put forward.

ágnes dúcz LS and nIMP of HuPSA Hungary


EPSA and EMSA The Strength of the Interdisciplinary Collaboration Olga Rostkowska, President of European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA) I sincerely reckon that 2014 will be an EPSA & EMSA year! We are eagerly looking forward to fresh partnership projects with high impact equal to (or even exceeding) the successful AMR joint action on the 18th of November 2013 (European Antibiotics Awareness Day, EAAD). Our power lies in these close collaborations, respect and complementation of each other’s experience and knowledge. The momentum gained by the AMR paper and EAAD publicity, powered by the energy coming from both youth NGOs, heralds even more fruitful interprofessional connection in the near and even more distant future. A firm handshake over the 2013’s Memorandum of Understanding proves that this synergy cannot be underestimated and should be fuelled by taking action up during other focus days (e.g. World AIDS Day or World Diabetes Day in 2014) as well as joint projects, workshops or events which can bring the sister organisations even closer together. Today’s work in the international student associations of the two leading healthcare professions lies in strong foundations which are shaping a more sustainable system of serving tomorrow’s European patients. This must not only mean a rich exchange of ideas on a central level but should also be fulfilled locally: aiming universities, public hospitals or private institutions. As long as pharmacy and medical students are working arm in arm and can enhance this process – we should not spare efforts to integrate it in our mission!


Jehona Krasniqi, EMSA Policy making Officer on joint EPSA-EMSA paper on AMR The spread of bacteriaresistant strands, due to the misuse of antibiotics, has urged us to take action on a local and central level to minimize, first of all, the use of antibiotics that in some countries has become out of control. This also gives a new direction to the use and the production of drugs in order to stress out the need of fair and clever “on the spot” management from all healthcare professionals. EMSA and EPSA, representatives of two forums on the medical system, have found it mandatory to compose a policy paper/protocol in order to help managing the antibiotics’ situation in Europe and to create a whole new strategy by setting vital criteria for all relevant stakeholders. The importance and target on this topic should be supporting and pushing forward the new pharmaceutical studies on fighting the antimicrobial resistance as well as focusing on the general education of patients in order to avoid the so-called “UPCOMING ERA WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS”. If not prudently used, they might become totally useless. Who is to blame?

Rok Hržič, EMSA Public Health Director on the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance In a 2005 essay “History Repeating? Avoiding a Return to the Pre-Antibiotic Age”, a Harvard Law school student Joseph Gottfried introduces us to the 1930s United States of America, where a fifth of all deaths are attributed to infectious diseases. A third of these to pneumonia, a further quarter to tuberculosis and a tenth to diarrhoeal diseases - all easily controlled and treated by today’s antibiotics. The author estimates that antibiotics lengthened the lives of Americans from 5 to 10 years. But are deadly infections really a thing of the past? According to the current reports of the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network and the Center for Disease Control, the answer is a resounding no. The percentage of methicillinresistant types of Staphylococcus aureus reached 25% in seven European countries in 2012. The same year, 23.000 Americans died due to infections caused by resistant microorganisms… We may be surprised by our failure in taking care of medicine’s questionably strongest weapons against a disease. But we shouldn’t be, for the warning of antimicrobial resistance caused by our misuse of antibiotics was first sounded by Alexander Fleming himself during his Nobel lecture in 1945. It is up to us now: will we listen or will we march towards the post-antibiotic era? More information:


Turkish public health campaign The Prozac nation Pharmacists play a vital role in the chain of healthcare through the medication and information they provide. Because of this big responsibility, as future pharmacists, we should not limit our education about drugs and diseases to our faculty courses. We should learn to be efficient self-learners and, besides educating ourselves, we should also educate others. That’s why at IUPSA International, every year we organise and support public health campaigns. This year the topic of our first campaign was “Antidepressant Drugs and Mental Illnesses”. Mental illnesses seem to be the disease of our generation. Researchers show that use of antidepressant drugs has increased significantly in the last 20 years. We are the Prozac nation! We tried to discuss mental illnesses and their possible treatment. Before treating, it is important to have adequate information about the disease. İlyas Kaya, a medical doctor, gave us a presentation in which we had the chance to learn more information about the subject. The way you use a drug is as important as the drug you use. Drug-drug or drug-food interactions can have serious consequences and a pharmacist must know such interactions. We prepared a booklet about interactions with antidepressant drugs to raise the awareness. We also had an “Interesting facts about mental illnesses” column, such as “Mental illnesses are mostly seen in people who don’t get enough B1, B3 and B12 Vitamins.” Since mental illnesses are closely related to stress and people’s lifestyles, we organized trainings on


related subjects. Our first training, given by EMSA Trainer, Melike Pelin Ozdogru, was about Stress Management. Jean-Yves Lemelle from ESTIEM gave a training about Lifestyle & Breathing Management and shared tips about lifestyle management that can improve our everyday lives. We focused on the impact of breathing management upon our health and consequently our stress and lifestyle. Through these trainings participants gained a perspective about how to deal with stress, as it is a major cause of mental illnesses. Drugs are not the only treatment for such diseases. Psychotherapy and art are alternative treatments. We gathered a group of students and visited an art psychotherapist. She gave us a psychotherapy session and as you can imagine, we were feeling very relaxed when we left her clinic!

Günce Alimoglu LS of IUPSA International Turkey

26th Annual I Vienna 2014

EUROMEETING Different Perspectives - One Vision: Better Healthcare for Patients.

An unbiased and neutral setting.

ACV, Vienna, Austria I 25-27 March 2014

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Students’ registration rate: €190 (proof required) Meet the who-is-who of the healthcare industry Network with professionals from around the world Browse one of the biggest exhibitions in Europe and speak to potential future employers • 100+ scientific sessions across 16 parallel themes to choose from to hear first-hand what is hot in the industry Get the best preparation to kick-start your career!

For all details


Becoming an Events Host for EPSA Bringing Pharmacy, Knowledge and Students together in your own country The portfolio of EPSA related events is quite diverse. Starting from local activities such as planning a public health campaign or putting up a training weekend with trainers. EPSA is followed by many internationally circulated invitations to smaller and bigger events from fellow pharmacy students in Europe focusing more on education or social activities. Furthermore, externals are offering you to take a glimpse at the professional world and will help you to explore the extra of being a pharmacy student. There are several ways how people are cultivating the idea of “bringing students together” within their countries.

to an event. You see how things are working, on and off the scene. This gave me the courage to speak with my fellow friends in MPSA, to give the European students a chance to explore Macedonia. We chose SU as event because Ohrid is a perfect summer destination: lake side town, which offers great beach fun, local clubs and many other different kinds of entertainment, like paragliding, scuba diving sailing etc. A town known as one of the oldest living cities on Earth, with imposing architecture, many cultural and historic aspects, will make the EPSA students’ stay truly an unforgettable one. The EPSA spirit lives through people who are bringing European students together to share and to enjoy. What about your country?

One of the biggest opportunities is becoming the host of an EPSA event. It’s interesting and moving at the same time to see how many people feel part of the EPSA family and want this to be transmitted to their own home associations and vice versa. Why did Ivana Mihajlovska become Chairperson of the EPSA Summer University 2014?

Is there a bigger pleasure than hosting European pharmacy students in your country, meeting them with your culture, tradition and vivid nature, yet contributing to their educational portfolio with an educational program designed especially for their purposes? Being involved in EPSA gave me a good insight. You meet the RC, EPSA team, and every person related


Daniela Kolberg EPSA Event Coordinator

Advocacy The act of supporting a cause If you google the word “advocacy” on any browser around Europe, soon you will find out that this expression dates from the XIV century, derived from Medieval Latin. However, what is this concept that has been developing through the ages? Advocacy stands for the act to plead or argue in favour of something: such as a cause, idea or a policy. Being currently done in all the countless formats and dimensions, the next contributions will make you understand how it is practised by students and professionals from all around Europe! Helsinki and the students’ voice Interdiscipline in health care is essential for better patient care. The concept of working as a team with other healthcare professionals should be taught during studies. Students pointing out the need and desire for shared study modules, with other healthcare students, helps to develop new courses. Developing new courses or putting other advocacy tasks into practice needs both active students and professionals. In Finland student advocacy in the faculties of pharmacy is organized by the local student association and different teams. Cooperation between the local student associations with their respective universities and faculties is crucial for productive advocacy. Liaison between students and personnel varies from projects to improve lesson timetables, to informal catching up and formal meetings.

One example of practical advocacy is an event unofficially known by the name “Complain about studies”. Every pharmacy student can share their

Every pharmacy student can share their concerns about worthless courses in the faculty, the lack of computers in university’s IT room or impractical workbook at laboratory course. concerns about worthless courses in the faculty, the lack of computers in university’s IT room or impractical workbook at laboratory course. Solutions and improvements are discussed together before the student association brings up the concerns and possible solutions to its faculty or university. Organized student advocacy makes complaining and praises useful!

Emmi Kokki FiPSA Advocacy Officer

The French approach As Vice President of Education and Reforms of ANEPF (Association Nationale des Etudiants en Pharmacie de France), I represent students in different instances. We work with the Conference of Deans to improve our training and be informed of the news in higher education. This collaboration allows our students to be informed quickly and have a real follow-up on the


implementation of reforms. ANEPF also works with a panel of masters’ courses so that the practical knowledge is the most optimal for students. The Collegium asks for our opinion on work placements, the various tools created to assist the students during the internships, the students’ feelings towards the changes in the world of pharmacy, among other contributions. The president of the Association and I meet on a monthly basis with the Academic Advisor of the Minister of Health. We can ask for specific information on the Ministry’s intent as well as news from our studies. Recently, universities could develop try-out on the first year of study, so we could prevent some projects to be implemented because they were not adapted to our studies and we could develop other projects that seemed relevant!

The president of the Association and I meet on a monthly basis with the Academic Advisor of the Minister of Health. We can ask for specific information on the Ministry’s intent as well as news from our studies. Our next project is a reflection on the numerus clausus at the entrance of our studies. We want to know if it is still relevant and how we need to change or even remove it. ANEPF’s main interest is quality education for all students and a degree of uniqueness between our faculties.

Jérémie Bataillon ANEPF Vice President of Education and Reforms


The European Professionals Following the provisions contained in Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty, recent years have seen a shift at a European level towards stakeholder dialogue and involving European level organisations and NGOs, many of which membership led, in political decision making processes. Health is no exception in this regard. The principal instrument available to these actors seeking to influence EU policy makers (as well as other stakeholders trying to influence policy) is advocacy, and most organisations active in Brussels - including umbrella organisations like EPHA, which represents disease-specific and professional, but also patient/citizen and minority health interests deploy a carefully selected mix of activities as part of their advocacy strategies. The latter commonly range from external communication (including traditional and social media work) to networking, campaigning, knowledge generation, events organisation, monitoring and capacity building, to name just a few. They differ by thematic area but also seek to establish synergies between policy issues and stakeholders. For EPHA, advocacy occupies a central role: it can be described as a public health intervention in its own right as it translates available knowledge about an issue into stories that motivate people to act. The efficacy of this work determines civil society organisations’ long-term legitimacy and visibility.

For EPHA, advocacy occupies a central role: it can be described as a public health intervention in its own right as it translates available knowledge about an issue into stories that motivate people to act.

Advocacy activities need to be in line with the organisation’s strategic plan, its mission and values. EU objectives are not always aligned with national or regional priorities, and as ‘intermediaries’ between the EU Institutions and their national or regional

While information is power, making too much ‘noise’ can easily backfire, especially if it creates rifts or alienates other stakeholders. A wellconsidered advocacy portfolio can help avoid sending out the wrong signals. members, civil society organisations must be aware of political realities and balance interests at multiple levels. Moreover, externally facing staff such as Secretary Generals, Presidents, etc. are key to an organisation’s success given that their proficiency, reputation, and professional network are an integral part of the overall advocacy ‘success’ of an organisation. Advocacy is also often more valuable when undertaken via issue-specific coalitions. With ICT now being ubiquitous in almost every sphere of our lives, it is increasingly necessary to be present in different communication platforms in order to be able to reach all relevant stakeholders. Whereas some advocacy targets identified political actors (e.g. Members of the European Parliament, European Commission officials and agency staff, international organisations, etc.) and hence does not necessarily require multiple communication channels, other activities seek to promote specific positions on health policy topics and are aimed at a much wider audience, the aim being to raise awareness, drum up support and generate media interest, which today is best achieved through the social media.

For professional bodies in particular, it is important to identify ways in which profession-specific expertise, findings and insights can best be conveyed. Building up a solid evidence base and communicating knowledge in a competent and trustworthy manner to the right audience at the right time remains a core function. While information is power, making too much ‘noise’ can easily backfire, especially if it creates rifts or alienates other stakeholders. A well-considered advocacy portfolio can help avoid sending out the wrong signals.

Sascha Marschang EPHA Policy Coordinator for Health Systems

Whether it is done at a Local, National or European level, by Pharmacy students or Professionals, advocacy plays a vast and significant role in each association. Defending and advocating for Pharmacy students’ rights at a European level is also one of EPSA’s missions, so that we can voice the opinions of the ones that we represent – you!

Jorge Batista EPSA Vice President of Education


Events page See what’s coming up the next months March


DIA Euromeeting

EPSA Annual Congress

When? 25th-27th of March Where? Vienna, Austria What? The DIA Euromeeting is one of the two big events which DIA (Drug Information Association) holds in Europe. Informative lectures, inspiring exhibition halls and meeting interesting people from many different fields make this event a very attractive one to attend for pharmacy students from all over Europe. Students can apply with their own scientific poster or register for a fellowship program. How much? ~100€ Contact?

Rencontres Pharma d’Hiver | Pharma Students Winter meeting

When? 25th of April- 1st of May Where? Budapest, Hungary What? Join EPSA’s biggest event so that you can learn during the Educational Symposium and Science Day, interact during Workshops, enrich your knowledge during Soft Skill Trainings, debate and feel unanimous in the General Assembly, enjoy the sights and the sports activities and get to know new people in a multicultural environment. How much? 325€ Contact?

July EPSA Summer University

When? 29th of March – 5th of April Where? Puy Saint Vincent, France What? This ski event invites around 300 pharmacy students to enjoy a week full of ski, snow and social activities à la française in an idyllic alpine setting. How much? 325€ + cash deposit Contact? Lucas:

When? 21st - 27th of July Where? Ohrid, Macedonia What? European summer holidays à la EPSA with Soft Skills Trainings, catchy social program, public health campaigns and lots of fun. How much? 220€ Contact?

EAHP Congress

International Pharmaceutical Summer Camp

When? 26th – 28th of March Where? Barcelona, Spain What? The biggest event in Europe that addresses hospital pharmacy, including lectures with 15 different themes, a big exhibition to get more involved in the field and student sessions just for you. How much? 90€ Contact?

When? 15th – 20th of July Where? Radenci ob Kolpi, Slovenia What? The project intends to connect students from different countries through educational programme, different sports activities, cultural-themed evenings and wild-themed parties. The topic of this year’s Summer camp is “Skin”. How much? To be announced. Contact?

Get to know more about these events via Event Calender on Would you like for your event to appear know!





Members’ page What’s going on in EPSA countries? K.N.P.S.V. hosted Belgian students from ‘Farmaceutica’ in Utrecht for a TWIN. During the discussion sessions, different topics were debated and the differences between the two countries became clear. On the last day the participants climbed the city tower and enjoyed a lovely wide view over the city. Five weeks later, the Dutch students were warmly welcomed as guests in Leuven. An interesting symposium about patents and presentations about Farmaceutica and EPSA were also held. These weekends were certainly fun and memorable!

The first national congress of our dear German members is dedicated to “Pharmacy International”. The different study systems will be compared, a group of students from Minnesota will be present and student internship experiences from all over the world are discussed. Way to go!

Lisbon’s local association, AEFFUL, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year! We have no doubt that an event will be held that proves worthy of this occasion! EPSA Team people will always be around. Congratulations and keep up the great work!


Not only did our most northern member host a great national congress, they also had nine (!) people from the EPSA team there to spread the word in Oslo. Still, it went on really great! With two EPSA trainings and presentations of EPSA’s projects, team members were able to make up for heavy snowball fights, at least.

Get your finest suits and dresses out, ladies and gentlemen! The Pharmacy Ball in Vienna took place in the beginning of February and we saw many fancy pharmacists dancing Waltz, or at least trying. Thanks to the great efforts of our Austrian member, AFÖP, many students were on the guest list as well.

Preparations for the EPSA Annual Congress are on full speed! Despite lots of Palinka, little details like the hotel and rooms for the educational program are still being set up.

Our “Best members of the year”, NAPSer held their congress in Zlatibor, as usual. EPSA Team people also attended and from the memories the Rakija left, we heard it was a great mixture of hard work and pleasure, as we expected from our dear Serbian members!

2014 is a special year for CPSA. This year they are celebrating their 20th anniversary and what could be a better present than to have a new member in the Association - the Faculty of Pharmacy from Split. Split is an ancient city by the seaside with a rich history, architecture, and art; but more important boasts of several wonderful people with the typical Dalmatian dialect. We are really looking forward to involve them as much as we possibly can in EPSA. Pozdrav iz Hrvatske!

Read more about these and related stories on 29

EPSA Team Contacts


President Tiia Metiäinen

Educational Affairs Coordinator Marina Knezović

VP of Education Jorge Batista

Professional Affairs Coordinator Diogo Viana

Secretary General Rui Saldanha

Training Coordinator Monica Luca

Treasurer Srđan Radak

Science Coordinator Rebwar Saleh

VP of Public Relations Stefan Rack

Publications Coordinator Maria Pace

VP of External Affairs Gabriela Valentová

Design Coordinator Svenja Laarhuis

VP of Mobility Rita Figueira

IT Coordinator Miglė Škadauskaitė

Social Services and Public Health Coordinator Katarína Lihocká

Events Coordinator Daniela Kolberg

Alumni Coordinator David Preece

Parliamentary Council Member Timothy Robinson

Grant Coordinator Domen Kutoša

Audit Committee Member Willem Rauwé

Partnership Coordinator Robert Zika

Audit Committee Member Jarno Kotajärvi

Central IMP Coordinator Sonia Colianni

Audit Committee Member Ioana Bogdan

Parliamentarian Svetlana Kolundžić

Chairperson RC of the 37th EPSA Annual Congress Judit Pajor

Parliamentary Council Member Thijs Schaap

EPSA Office 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, as a an Individual Member! How to do it? Go to, “Members” and check out the page about the Individual Membership. Fill in the application form and send it to the EPSA Secretary General ( You should also send the proof of payment to EPSA Treasurer ( Keep yourself updated!


bringing pharmacy, knowledge and students together Volume 21 | Edition 1 | October 2013

Mobility Explore your possibilities this newsletter is produced by EPSA and is distributed to all EPSA members, national pharmaceutical students’ organisations, faculties, official bodies and partners

Public Health Campaign Students counseling outside the pharmacy, on the Croatian beaches

Science Day Students presenting their university work

European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association



Profile for EPSA