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European Pharmaceutical Students' Association | Bringing pharmacy knowledge and students together. Volume 23 | Edition 2 | March 2016

LS Day Sharing knowledge, opinions and friendship

Advocacy Around Europe

PGEU Interview With Jūratė Švarcaitė

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European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

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Claire Clinical researcher R&D

Table of contents Editor’s words Presidential words

Liaison Secretaries Day

4 Dear reader,


it is with great pleasure that I present to you the second edition of the Newsletter for the 2015/2016 mandate. This year is a very special EPSA year; we are celebrating 15 years since the opening of the Permanent Office in Leiden, The Netherlands, a very unique beginning that shaped EPSA’s path towards today. In this edition of the EPSA Newsletter, we want to

Advocacy around Europe Educational Department Outcomes

8 focus extra on our association‘s outcomes of the 10 past seven months. Within these pages, you will find

Autumn Assembly report



articles about our projects in the field of education, which have been standing out with great results among pharmacy students as well as internal activities that have been bringing EPSA Members closer. In this newsletter, you can also find articles from different perspectives within the Team, both about the past and the future of the association.

Where are they now?

18 I recommend reading the article about the World

Individual Mobility Project


Healthcare Students’ Symposium and the EPSA representation at European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management (ESTIEM) Council Meeting if you want to find out how EPSA actively collaborates with other student associations. My sincere thanks go to all contributors to this edition of the newsletter; EPSA Team, LSs, external authors, and the Editorial Board, for their great efforts. I wish you all an inspiring and fruitful reading!

WHSS EPSA - ESTIEM EPSA in Brussels Interview with PGEU

22 24 Yours in EPSA, 25 26

Map of Europe Events Calendar EPSA Executive contacts

28 30 31

Joana Melo

EPSA Vice President of Public Relations

Special thanks to: Chuck van de Cappelle (Design and Editing) Editorial Board: Claudia Ferreira, Filip Ilievski, Jasna Puh, Michael Champion, Noor Mujahid and Simran Buttar | @EPSA_Online


Presidential words

EPSA in Brussels and beyond Dear EPSA friends, Brussels, an unquestionable capital of Europe, is a base for many European institutions. This is the place where our voice can be heard and that is not just some voice, but the voice of 160,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates from all over Europe! This year we are celebrating 15 years since EPSA appointed its first Permanent Officer in Leiden, the Netherlands. As EPSA developed its work in advocacy, I believe it was a great decision to finally move its post to Brussels in 2004. Today, EPSA has three officers based in the EU capital, currently the President, the Vice President of External Affairs and the Partnership Coordinator. You can read more about the outcomes of our work in Brussels on the next pages. Having developed a tool such as the Educational Professional Affairs Platform, EPSA is able to collect opinions of its members and later on actively advocate for the future of pharmacy and pharmacy education. Brussels is also a city where our event of Excellence, the EPSA Annual Reception takes place. It is an opportunity for the Association to present its work to the stakeholders and members, as well as to debate on one of the EU hot topics. This year’s 7th edition will be tailored around the topic “Will reducing prices of medicines ensure sustainability of healthcare systems in Europe?” and hosted at the European Parliament on 15th March 2016. Since this is a great

moment for EPSA to reflect on its achievements, this Newsletter also covers the outcomes of our work in the educational field. We certainly have not been resting much! EPSA has also been actively collaborating with other student associations, for instance through the World Healthcare Students’ Symposium in November 2015. Last months also featured the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between EPSA and the European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management (ESTIEM) and our representative had the pleasure to attend ESTIEM Council Meeting in Vienna. You can get an insight into those events in the next parts of the Newsletter. Finally, I need to give credits for this edition of the Newsletter to my amazing Team 2015/2016 that had its 3rd Team meeting this mandate in Brno, Czech Republic. Treated with great hospitality by our hosts the USF, Czech Republic, the Team charged its batteries and started the year of 2016 with great motivation. Meanwhile, we also appointed the new Vice President of Public Relations, Joana Melo, who was responsible for this edition of the Newsletter. I wish us all a very productive time until the 39th EPSA Annual Congress in Helsinki and then further, with newly elected successors by our side, through the handover period, until the end of our mandate. Yours in EPSA,

Katarzyna Świderek EPSA President


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Drug therapy for special patient groups

39th EPSA Annual Congress

Helsinki, Finland 18-24 April 2016

Ready to Finnish? @EPSA_AC2016 epsaac2016 /epsaac2016

Liaison Secretaries Day

Sharing knowledge, opinions and friendship Following an initiative that came from the EPSA member associations during the mandate of the previous EPSA Team, a day dedicated specifically to the Liaison Secretaries was organised for the first time right before the start of the 12th EPSA Autumn Assembly in Malta.

But who are the Liaison Secretaries and what is actually their role? EPSA represents over 160,000 pharmacy students in Europe and its strength comes from bringing them together to share opinions, knowledge and friendship. Liaison Secretaries (or

A total of 18 LSs attended the activities, which consisted of trainings on topics like leadership, group dynamics and team building delivered by Sara Torgal (EPSA Training Coordinator) and Mija Kavčič (EPSA Trainer). The Training Week project was also presented to LSs and they brainstormed on it together. In the afternoon, everyone had some free time for bonding and hanging out in one of the bars at the seaside of Gżira.

When I think about the LS Day during the Autumn Assembly in Malta, I remember three things. The first one is an inside-joke hashtag which I will not mention here. The second one is a day filled with handy soft skills trainings. The last and most important one is the people. There were some old faces I already knew and some new ones I met for the first time. But all of them were so enthusiastic and full of energy that it was almost impossible not to have a smile on my face all day long. Truly, I cannot imagine a better start of the congress. Advice for all LSs: if you want to experience the true EPSA spirit, the LS Day is just for you!

Patrik Bilanin LS SPSA Slovakia


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

short LSs) represent a bridge between EPSA and its members - they are the ones spreading the word, enthusiasm, inspiration and fun and the ones that reach out to students. They also follow the work of the EPSA Team closely and provide feedback and members’ view on everything the Association is working on throughout the year.

LSs rarely get the opportunity to attend educational sessions during the congresses because of being present at the General Assemblies. So, the LS Day was a good opportunity for them to experience other aspects of EPSA events and gain some skills which would help them fulfill their roles as members’ representatives better. I was very happy that in the end, all LSs felt very positive about it and they could feel a difference in the spirit, atmosphere and collaboration between them during the congress that followed.

Nikola Lazarevski EPSA Vice President of Internal Affairs

The Autumn Assembly in Malta was my first EPSA event as LS and I was very excited to attend it. But honestly, without much experience, representing ANEPF in Europe was not stressless. I was excited about meeting the other LSs and to see how discussions can be fruitful and enriching . It exceeded my expectations. It was the best opportunity to meet everyone I was working with. Attending very interesting trainings and sharing experiences created a real cohesion between LSs and EPSA Team and all of us had a great time. No doubt, the LS Day fully prepared me to approach the congress week in the best way possible.

I am very honoured to have attended the first ever organised LS Day! We started with some ice-breaking games and within minutes we began working and getting closer. And this day was not ordinary at all! Having dinner, making our own song and spending 24 hours together were more important than we initially thought. It was then much easier to work at the General Assembly, communicate with each other and create connections between countries. We finally ‘put a face’ to all the emails we sent and received throughout the year. LS Day is a must have for every EPSA congress, not only because of the benefits it brings for the upcoming week, but for the whole year in which the LSs work together, making EPSA stronger and happier!

Mathieu Alcaide

Tina Ionescu


LS SSFB Romania | @EPSA_Online


Advocacy around Europe

Empowering the voices of pharmacy students Usually, when I start talking about advocacy, people look at me with confusion. Many of them would swear they never heard of it. But when I start talking about students‘ opinion, the possibility to change things that affect and concern us, directly or indirectly, or simply being heard, everyone starts nodding their head. We are on the same page again. Advocacy is a part of Students‘ Associations from the very beginning. Often, it was the reason why some of them were formed. To advocate for students, to represent their opinions, rights, to bring new ideas into discussions. Though it was always here, the advocacy became a real part of EPSA only three years ago. At that time, the Educational Professional Advocacy Platform was launched. Each member association nominated two representatives to become part of this platform. Thanks to the representatives, the discussion across Europe is possible and students‘ opinion can be collected. In the past year, EPSA focused a lot on vaccination in pharmacies – hot topic which attracted the attention of many pharmacy students around Europe. As the main outcome, European pharmacy students believe that pharmacist-delivered vaccination can raise the rate of vaccinated patients as well as decrease the workload of medical doctors. Another topic that was thoroughly discussed within the platform during last year was the opening of a new faculty of pharmacy in France. Statement of support to ANEPF, our french member, can be found on EPSA website in the section of Statements and Position Papers.

Recently, EPSA has been discussing various topics. One of the most recent issues pertains to Alcohol Drugs Interactions. EPSA has become the member of APYN – Alcohol Policy Youth Network in 2013 and brought the project into attention of members through discussing new campaigns. The main aim is to raise awareness of the harmful interaction between alcohol and drugs. A vast survey was run through the general public, to try and find out how much aware the population is in regards to the matter. After this assessment, the need to educate the general public arose and the campaign was prepared in collaboration with EMSA – European Medical Students‘ Association. Part of the campaign is the leaflet, which can be easily translated into different languages, so that our members can run the campaign without other designing. Also, interprofessional collaboration is discussed a lot within our network. The collaboration of European Healthcare Students‘ Associations was launched in 2015 and this year continued on the second European Healthcare Students‘ Associations Summit held in Brussels in early February. Discussion points were related to joint advocacy topics, mainly interprofessional collaboration which we value a lot. Another hot topic is healthcare workforce. EPSA started to participate in the Joint Action of Healthcare Workforce Planning and Forecasting in early 2015. Since then, we ran a questionnaire through our Educational Professional Advocacy Platform representatives in order to assess the situation on collection of data, mobility, control of students admitted to the


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

studies and others. From the survey, we found out that none of the members who answered the survey can support their answers with solid data. Another issue pointed out by the survey was that only two EPSA member associations have official positions on the topic, yet almost all of the associations believe that the issue is important and should be followed. Another survey was released in late 2015 but barely any members answered this one as well – only eight countries were able to submit the data related to mobility. Therefore, following conclusions of the survey were made and were presented at the Varna Conference – the event where all stakeholders involved in Joint Action met. Firstly, national authorities should work on planning systems to educate students and professionals. According to the survey, there are no means of data collections. And if there are, students are not aware of those. This directly points out the need of proper education (and not only future) of healthcare professionals. Planning system is very important at this point – currently, some countries suffer from oversupply which might easily lead to undersupply in a couple of years – by having less working places available for recently graduated pharmacists, the rate of unemployment will grow and will cause pharmacy to lose attractiveness among high school students. Thanks to that, less students might apply for pharmacy courses at the University, which can lead either to lowering the level and quality of the course or to accepting less students, therefore resulting in undersupply. In order to predict and plan the situation, students‘ and professionals‘ literacy on Healthcare Workforce Planning and Forecasting should be increased.

Secondly, planning models should be comparable and data traceable. Again, in the survey, students were unable to support their answers with data. Therefore, the system of data collection should be implemented. Having similar systems would allow us to compare single countries in Europe and therefore benefit from this possibility. Another point that arose from the EPSA survey is that undersupply of pharmacists should not be primarily solved by immigration but rather by education. EPSA supports mobility in general, as it facilitates the sharing of good practices and the development of individuals, which has been recently even eased by launching the European Professional Card which allows easier process of diploma recognition by countries from the European Union. Mobility of professionals and students should remain supported as long as it does not affect patients‘ safety and is not forced. Yet, the situation of undersupply of pharmacists should be rather solved by investing into quality education. Education of pharmacists should also reflect the work of tomorrow – to support the idea, EPSA helps raising employability of European pharmacy students through the Lifelong Learning Programme, which tracks the lifelong learning process of students, through Career Page that shows different career options and gives an overview of possibilities one has after graduating from Pharmacy, or even through the Mentoring Project where professionals meet students in order to share their knowledge, raise dialogue and also in order to grow and become a great pharmacist. Last message is as simple as that we wish to be involved together with professionals in planning system development and other topics related to our education at early stages, as we believe that we can provide valuable input. We are students today, healthcare workforce tomorrow!

Adéla Firlová EPSA Vice President of Education | @EPSA_Online


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Education Outcomes

What’s new when it comes to Education? Educational department works all year round on different projects. Even though the projects vary a lot, they all have one thing in common - to bring the knowledge to our members.

Education outcomes EAFP Annual Conference The European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy (EAFP) is the professional organisation representing Faculties of Pharmacy throughout Europe. Each year in May, they organise their Annual Conference which hosts symposiums, scientific presentations as well as their General Assembly. For the past years, EPSA has been collaborating with them to provide a student-centred session, which presents our perspective to the deans and professors from Pharmacy Faculties all around Europe. Last year the student session had the topic of Implementation of soft-skills in pharmacy education, which is a topic that EPSA has been advocating for a long time. In 2016, the Annual Conference will be held in Paris, between 12th and 14th of May and has the topic of “Postgraduate studies in pharmacy education”

developed, together with a report template which will be used by applicants to detail their experiences and the skills they acquired through them. These have undergone a test phase with the help of EPSA Team members and modified accordingly, as well as shared with LSs which provided us with all their valuable inputs. Right now we are in the process of looking for knowledgeable people which will assist us with the assessment of the reports that the applicants send in and afterwards we will be ready to open this project to all of you!

Raluca Radu EPSA Educational Affairs Coordinator

Science outcomes European Students’ Science Publication (ESSP) The first edition of the third ESSP volume has been published online. Four different abstracts, covering research work done by European pharmacy students, were included in the edition. Abstracts for the ESSP may be submitted by any EPSA member. The abstracts are evaluated by EUFEPS (European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences) and each participant thus receives professional feedback on their abstract.

Lifelong Learning Programme In order to better help you map out your development during the student years, EPSA has been developing the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). Until now a framework containing all the competencies we believe a student should develop in order to become an excellent pharmacy professional has been | @EPSA_Online


Science Excursion A Science Excursion, comprising of a guided tour of a restored pharmacy and archives, took place during the Autumn Assembly 2015. Science Excursions are thus becoming a regular part of all major EPSA events and offer students further insight into the professional pharmacy world or the history of the profession.

Public health campaign outcomes Each year on 18th November, EPSA members celebrate the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD). This year the impact of this public health campaign was increased and the World Health Organisation launched the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, happening from 15th to 21st November. Each day we shared materials related to antibiotic resistance on different social platforms, so that we could give our support to our partners ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). Moreover, EPSA created a pledge to fight against antimicrobial resistance, in order to motivate our members to conduct this campaign at a local level and to show EPSA’s position regarding this subject.

EPSA Science! Monthly The EPSA Science! Monthly is a brand new project. A monthly post on the EPSA website covers six news articles from the pharmaceutical science world. Students are encouraged to participate by sending in links of interesting news articles and are given recognition for their participation on the EPSA website. How to science! Workshop A workshop covering the research process from start to finish and the opportunities in science for European pharmacy students was executed during the Autumn Assembly and attended by around 50 participants. The annual Science Day is to be organised during the Autumn Assembly in Helsinki. Stay tuned for more information about this and all other science projects!

Eva Shannon Schiffrer EPSA Science Coordinator


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Nine EPSA member associations were actively involved by carrying out the Antibiotic Awareness Campaign at a local level. Activities like symposiums about the topic, handing out leaflets and stickers to the general public, giving information about antimicrobial resistance through different games and contests, even sharing fruit and tea all contributed to marking this important day and making it memorable.

Each year pharmacy students have access to a number of specially prepared trainings at EPSA Congresses and local Training events, organised by our members in their Faculties. In an effort to get even closer to students, the first edition of the Training Week took place from 7th to 13th December 2015 members were invited to organise local soft-skills related activities (trainings, challenges, etc.). In the same line, the first edition of ‘Trainers on Tour’ is taking place in the period of 7th to 19th March 2016! Over two weeks, two pairs of Trainers travelled around Europe delivering in seven different countries - taking the Training Project to many more students. Each representative wrote a testimonial about how the EAAD was organised in their country and all the short articles were compiled and posted on EPSA blog. We are very proud that we managed to raise awareness about this important topic and we hope that next time, more and more members will conduct this campaign in their countries.

Elena Popa EPSA Social Services and Public Health Coordinator

Training outcomes The EPSA Training Project was established in 2009 with the aim of providing soft skills training to pharmacy students in Europe and increasing student awareness of soft skills and personal development as tools in personal and professional growth, as well as to advocate the incorporation of soft skills in the pharmacy curricula of European Universities. Today, the Training Project (TP) consists of a pool of more than 50 EPSA Trainers and Trainer Candidates, committed to bring soft skills closer to every European pharmacy student.

Also in 2015, the Training Project received a grant from the European Youth Foundation (EYF) for its 9th ‘Training New Trainers’ event - occurring from 21st to 28th May 2016 in Oslo, Norway - specially dedicated to facilitating NEET’s inclusion in society. The 2nd edition of the ‘Train the Trainer’ (TtT), an event dedicated to the knowledge transfer between our Trainers, took place in March 2016 in Brussels making this an extremely fruitful year for the Training Project!

Sara Torgal EPSA Training Coordinator | @EPSA_Online


Professional affairs outcomes Time flies- first day at university seemed like yesterday but also, graduation is coming closer and closer. Students feel like they haven’t learned anything, like they aren’t prepared for their future profession at all. There are so many options, who can I ask for help? Many students are coming to EPSA with these questions. They have a blurry picture of their future, of what they want to do. But they definitely need some more help, some more input for it. That is why EPSA has developed different projects, to help students to find their personal career path! Chat with Professionals There are four online editions scheduled each year, usually in close collaboration with EPSA’s partner the European Industrial Pharmacists Group (EIPG). Every edition focusses on one pharmaceutical field; lately, our editions had the topic of Quality Assurance, Clinical Pharmacy and Marketing. The speakers present themselves and their professions, they explain their everyday work and what skills they need to perform in their working field, followed by questions that participants are welcomed to ask. The interest among students is huge; we have around 100 participants per edition! Dates for future editions can be found on the EPSA homepage. Twice a year, during the EPSA congresses, there is also a live edition of the Chat with Professionals. The attending EPSA Alumni, Professionals from different fields within pharmacy, gather in a workshop room to give participants insight into their working areas and the skills and knowledge required for their career paths.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

The Mentoring Project This year, 40 students are having the possibility of a personal one – on – one mentoring experience with professionals from almost every field in the pharmaceutical profession. Regularly, the development of the mentee is being discussed on Skype and advice on how to achieve personal goals is given by the mentors.

EPSA is always eager to contribute to students’ personal and professional development. The Chat with Professionals or the Mentoring Project are the EPSA projects that might have helped quite some students in find their way through the jungle of working fields.

Clara Brandt EPSA Professional Affairs Coordinator

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12th EPSA Autumn Assembly An outstanding adventure!

In October 2015 I had the chance to be one of the participants from over 30 countries, who were lucky enough to spend an unforgettable autumn week in Southern Europe! Not only was the weather warm but the atmosphere too! Let me start by describing the rich content of the educational programme. The two symposia explored the topic “Immunopharmacology – Tailoring complex therapies to meet needs of patients”. During the first day speakers were focused on immune system and its diseases, whereas, the second day was full of numerous examples and ideas about potential roles of pharmacists in treating immunological disorders. We were able to hear professional talks delivered by international and local experts, who are working at universities, community pharmacies, hospitals and pharmaceutical industry. Creating such an interesting idea to explore the topic from different points of view seemed to be a great success. What is more, students were also encouraged to engage in the discussion.

If you think we explored Malta, in the afternoons, you are mistaken. Of course, we found the opportunity to do it, however, sessions organised into four pillars were pretty interesting, because of the huge variety of possibilities to extend our knowledge, develop our soft skills, exchange good practices between students and take part in various projects in order to enhance our professional and personal development. We could choose whatever we wanted according to our needs and interests. Of course I could not miss the General Assembly! It was an unique opportunity to discover EPSA regulations, get to know the people from EPSA Team and participate in the debate about the future of pharmacists.

Every evening European pharmacy students and alumni came together at one of the parties e.g. Maltese Night, International Night and of course the Great Gala. Everything was in place, even trying various delicacies like flying beverages with chocolate! Due to lack of time, we could not visit the whole extraordinary country. Luckily, St. Julian’s is placed close to other must-see attractions and getting around Malta – one of the world’s smallest countries – does not cause any inconvenience. What else do I remember the most? Are you considering amazing views, 4-star superior hotels or


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

walking near the sea every morning? You could not be more wrong! What enchanted me the most was the unity of pharmaceutical students from all over Europe. There is no doubt that EPSA events provide many occasions to reinforce this unity and give you a feeling of being a part of this. As a member of the Photographers Committee I was looking for ideal moments to take a picture of. Because of that, even if I could not be a part of the organizing committee, I was able to experience the event in a totally different way. The truth is that I felt a little bit stressed, though seeing people smile brought me a lot of joy! I have never been to any EPSA events before, therefore I could not imagine that we – students from different countries – have so much in common! I found it hard to come back to reality as I had expected. As I was boarding the plane, I already missed the Maltese atmosphere… I would like to recommend EPSA events to everyone! It does not matter if it is Autumn Assembly, Annual Reception, Annual Congress or Summer University. You will not be disappointed and friends you will make, maybe friends for a lifetime :). See you in Helsinki!

Anna Sójka Participant of the 12th EPSA Autumn Assembly | @EPSA_Online


Where are they now? Alumni

Directly from the EPSA Alumni themselves Tiia Metiäinen I am currently working at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) which is the European level organisation representing research-based pharmaceutical industry. My job revolves around drug development and regulatory policy issues, ranging from clinical development to manufacturing and supply chain topics, so covering a wide spectrum of aspects the pharmaceutical industry is dealing with. I am privileged to be able to work with a bunch of international people, based in Brussels, interacting with some of the best scientific and policy experts in the world, as well as regulators and other stakeholders. Even though everything is a bit bigger in the professional context, many aspects of my current work do not differ that much from my days in EPSA (except maybe that we do not tend to schedule meetings for 2 am in the night). The dynamics of European level organisations dealing with healthcare related issues are very much the same, even if specific target issues or available resources may differ. I was involved in EPSA as Liaison Secretary for Finland, Training Coordinator, Vice President of Education, President and Immediate Past President, and now as a part of the Alumni Advisory Board. Without a doubt this has been the best possible preparation for my current job. People who are active internationally when students tend to continue on Tiia Metiäinen this road after graduation – in fact I bump into EPSA friends EPSA President because of work all the time and can already see that some 2013-2014 of these people will be the ones to change the future of pharmacy. And to think it all started in EPSA…

Franjo Čaić When you already forget a bit about EPSA, EPSA remembers you! And I am glad it does because it means you left some tracks. My journey began late, during my last year of studies and that’s the only thing I could possibly regret. However, it was tremendous! I felt strong enthusiasm being part of long EPSA history, meeting colleagues and sharing passion for pharmacy. I was even elected as LS of the Year by my fellow LSs! After graduation I continued working as a Pharmacovigilance trainee in the Croatian National Agency and after internship in a Hospital Pharmacy in Rome, I joined the IMP project in Asphalion, a consultancy company from Barcelona, as regulatory affairs officer. I’m still here, young and beautiful (hopefully), intensively learning, also improving my Spanish. What a nice start of Franjo Čaić career! Don’t you think so? Join EPSA... Now! P.S. I have to use this chance to send a sincere hug to everyone who knows me!


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

LS CPSA Croatia 2013-2014

I am Georges Dagher and currently work with GSK in France, managing the respiratory business of the company to help French patients with respiratory disorders get back moments of their lives that most of us take for granted. I have done most of my work with GSK and have evolved from marketing to public health in vaccines and spent a few years in market access before I was given the opportunity to manage the respiratory business here in France. I have been LS for 2 years and Design Officer in EPSA for 1 year.


Georges Dagher

EPSA has been instrumental in my life. Indeed, working in pharmaceutical industry requires mental agility, ability to understand and manage differing needs and points of view, anticipate what the future will look like and having a strong sense of responsibility. Being involved with EPSA puts us at the heart of the health environment, with friends and peers from all over Europe, and gives us the privilege and responsibility to be the voice of more than 120,000 students and meet remarkable people. Furthermore, Georges Dagher this is where I first got in touch with GSK! It is also a brilliant network opportunity. Today, I have friends all EPSA Design Officer over Europe and my Parisian house is open to any 2008-2009 alumni reading this and willing to come and see the Eiffel tower.

Daniela Kolberg I am currently completing a traineeship in a global PR agency. Our customers are mainly pharmaceutical companies and we are advising them on communication in the fields of corporate or public affairs and on product communication (OTC and Rx). A pharmacist specialising in the field of communication – how come? After my graduation in 2014, I was looking into opportunities in marketing, PR and advocacy, which I admit is not the ‘traditional’ path for a pharmacist. But my time as an LS (2010-2012, BPhD) and the work as the EPSA Events Coordinator (2012-2014) shaped my mind and skills towards observing, planning, advising (#GA) and communication. In an international organisation you also learn a lot about people, to understand different views and opinions, analyze the situation, see the opportunity and find best compromises to move forward. In consultancy, we are doing exactly that. So, my deep involvement and engagement in EPSA showed me a new side of being a pharmacist.

Daniela Kolberg

In my opinion, pharmacists are needed wherever health is important. And when something is important, placing the right communication is the key to success.

EPSA Events Coordinator 2012-2014 | @EPSA_Online


Individual Mobility Project

Students today, pharmacy leaders tomorrow

We are flexible and adapt quickly to your recruitment needs, with our team of coordinators screening applicants and assisting their integration abroad in all our member countries

Many IMP interns continued their professional careers at the company after finishing their placement


IMP provides paid opportunities for mobility and professional training of European pharmacy students abroad. We encourage young professionals to build up an international career, share and gain experience, improving the quality of pharmaceutical services in Europe

An innovative project that adds value to your organisation

Use of modern recruiting techniques and tools to identify and attract the most talented individuals

European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Individ Mobility P

Flagship EPSA Project

Finding unique talent from a pool of 160,000 students and recent graduates, based on your company’s needs


More than 10 years of international experience

Future professionals

Young graduates

dividual ity Project

A Mobility project worth your trust

Recruiting unique pharmacy talent before anyone else, with our insight into many student profiles; potential employees; future professionals

Reveals the best pharmaceutical talent in Europe

55 placements with 25 organisations in 15 countries

Our interns are ambitious and bring new ideas to your company with their international experience and understanding of the pharmaceutical fields

Longstanding partnership with varied types of organisations, including pharmaceutical companies, universities and NGOs, proving the exceptional quality of the project

David Koloťić EPSA Central IMP Coordinator | @EPSA_Online


World Healthcare Students’ Symposium

Educating and inspiring future healthcare professionals Today, eight associations are involved in the organisation of the WHSS - the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA), the European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA), the European Confederation for Physical Therapy Students (ECPTS), the European Dental Students’ Association (EDSA), the International Association of Dental Students (IADS) and the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA). The World Healthcare Students’ Symposium (WHSS) is a biennial multidisciplinary event that brings hundreds of students from many different countries and backgrounds in one place, with the primary goal to promote cooperation between different healthcare professions, to share knowledge for the benefit of all patients worldwide, as well as to improve healthcare through multidisciplinary approach in patient care and health outcomes optimisation. The history of WHSS dates back to 2004, when the idea to bring pharmacy, medicine and allied health students together in an international symposium was raised, leading to the organisation of the first World Medical and Pharmacy Students’ Symposium (World MaPS) in 2005, which is considered to be its first edition.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Following a line of successful students’ symposiums held in Malta, Portugal, Egypt, Czech Republic and Switzerland, the 6th edition of the WHSS was held from 17th - 22nd of November 2015 in Skopje, Macedonia. The hosting association was the Macedonian Medicinal Students’ Association (MMSA), helped by EMSA Macedonia and MPSA Macedonia (Macedonian Pharmaceutical Students’ Association), and over 250 students from five different continents and from all the different health backgrounds attended it. The educational programme of the event focused on three themes divided into three different days: Global health and one health - what are they and where are we going; Ethics and equality - a global perspective, and Developing healthcare - progressive therapies. As an addition to the very interesting panel discussions and workshops delivered by professionals in Medicine,

We could stay here writing all you can imagine, but by now you have probably realised that WHSS is much more than a simple symposium - it is where interprofessional cooperation starts building and where students and young professionals have the unique chance to see it working live! Every discussion can be seen in several different perspectives, but it ends every single time with the certainty that the best possible care for our patients and a better health system is the priority. Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Physiotherapy, the participants had the opportunity to attend satellite symposia where they could learn what each of the organising student associations (the stakeholders) was working on and how they could get more involved. A session dedicated to oral and poster abstracts presentation was also held, where participants could present the results of their scientific work and win an award. Additionally to the high quality educational programme, the participants got to engage in a number of different social activities, where they discovered the city centre and the old part of the city of Skopje. But most importantly, every participant had the chance to meet and bond with people from all over the world, making this a truly enriching experience!

Also, it is not every day that you actually get to meet and interact with such a unique and diverse group of people, in a place where every single topic is arranged to make each discussion fruitful and an added value for your future as a health professional. The next edition of the WHSS will take place in 2017. Our best advice? Take the chance and participate, because it is more than just an event - it is an experience of a lifetime!

Sara Torgal EPSA Training Coordinator

Nikola Lazarevski EPSA Vice President of Internal Affairs | @EPSA_Online



Strengthening the ties between students’ associations On the first day of this seven-day-journey I was accepted by the very welcoming ESTIEM Ambassador and Board and I can speak for myself when I say that those days were nothing but pure learning, networking and full of ESTIEM spirit, representing a perfect beginning for the EPSA-ESTIEM relationship after having the joint MoU signed.

In the second half of November, EPSA was represented on the LI ESTIEM Council Meeting. This event took place in Vienna, Austria and it was held from 15th to 22nd November. European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management (ESTIEM) is the most important organisation for all students of Industrial Engineering in the whole of Europe and has more than 60,000 members. The Council Meeting is their General Assembly that gathers twice a year and aims to foster the international collaboration between all students of technical-economical studies. ESTIEM was also celebrating its 25th anniversary, representing an important milestone for the organisation. Furthermore, during this event the ESTIEM Board and Project Leaders’ elections took place, along with signing the EPSA-ESTIEM Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This event assembled 350 participants and around 50 Alumni. In addition to them, other external associations’ representatives joined the Council Meeting.

Not different from the EPSA congresses, the General Assembly gathered during the event. ESTIEM Board and members took an active voice and old, new and restructured projects were passionately presented. From Education to Public Relations, passing through ESTIEM Projects and Initiatives, complementing with Administration and members, all the ESTIEM matters were carefully introduced and debated.

While the days brought a considerable amount of workload, the nights were meant to bring out the intercultural, social and leisure spirit amongst all the participants! It was a real pleasure to spend those days there and it was a great opportunity to strengthen ties between EPSA and ESTIEM. Regarding the future of this partnership, I cannot wait to see what will come up, but I can guarantee it will be nothing but fruitful and passionate.

Catarina Nobre EPSA Treasurer


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

EPSA in Brussels

15 years of EPSA permanent office This year EPSA is celebrating 15 years of its Permanent Office. Since 2004 the location has been changed from Leiden (where it was associated with Stevenshof Institute for Pharmacy Practice Research) to Brussels in order to join many other European organisations based in the capital of Europe. All started with one permanent EU Officer who was given the task of ensuring that EPSA was an influential player on the European political level and that the voice of European pharmacy students was heard. The EU Officer was also working part-time for the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) - after many years of fruitful collaboration, still one of the most important EPSA partners. In 2011 EPSA entered into a new collaboration with The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), that resulted in a new Brussels based internship for an EPSA Team member, creating an opportunity for a second Permanent Officer in the heart of Europe. The collaboration developed even more in 2015, when a second internship opportunity arose at the EAHP and this mandate EPSA proudly has three Permanent Officers: Katarzyna Świderek, the EPSA President and Suvi Sivula, EPSA Partnership Coordinator at EAHP and Maja Šerčić, the EPSA Vice President of External Affairs at PGEU. Five months have passed since all of us moved to Brussels, meaning that we are exactly half way through our internships in the abovementioned associations. During these months EPSA was on

our agenda 24/7 and we represented the interests of European pharmacy students at numerous events. EPSA engages in topics important for pharmacy education, as well as important healthcare issues, that will affect us as future healthcare professionals. Important matters are brought to the attention of our members in order to build up a common position at the European level. We, as interns, aim to reflect the views of the Association at our work. EPSA is getting more and more recognition among other stakeholders also through the presence in joint initiatives and organisations. We are happy to observe the increase in the engagement with other stakeholders such as EAHP and PGEU through joint projects that otherwise would be difficult to coordinate if not for the presence of EPSA interns in those associations. The EPSA House Project was developed in order to bring the whole Executive to Brussels to foster the communication between the Executive members and the growth of EPSA projects, but most importantly, to make our presence in the capital of Europe even stronger. Seeing this dream slowly coming true with three Permanent Officers right now, we will strive to increase the number of EPSA Team members based in Brussels in the next years to come. Looking forward to see what the future holds.

Katarzyna Świderek EPSA President

Maja Šerčić EPSA Vice President of External Affairs | @EPSA_Online


Interview with PGEU Secretary General Jūratė Švarcaitė Jurate, you are an EPSA Honorary Life Member (HLM) and a previous Executive Member and EPSA Permanent Officer in Brussels. How did your student experience help you in your position as PGEU Secretary General? Indeed, the moment the General Assembly awarded me HLM title, I was in for a lifetime. The experiences I gained during my years in EPSA prove to be useful every day. First of all, EPSA taught me to be open-minded towards other cultures and to respect different ways of doing things. At the end of the day, what matters is that you have results. Since EPSA is a student organisation with limited resources, it also taught me to be creative and to see opportunities rather than problems . By being involved in EPSA’s activities and by meeting people in those years has certainly shaped my personality.

What are the current major European issues linked to pharmacy that PGEU is dealing with? Among many issues that are on the agenda of the Secretariat I would highlight the Falsified Medicines Directive, which will somewhat harmonise technical dispensing process across EU and make European community pharmacies the safest place to get medicines. Another important dossier is the Professional Qualifications Directive. We are working together with you, the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy and the European Commission on the annexes of the Directive that describes training of pharmacists. I would like to use this opportunity and thank all EPSA members for their assistance in this regards. It is a great opportunity to modernise European pharmacy curriculum. The European Commissioner for health Vytenis Andriukaitis is from Lithuania as well. Can you explain to students what is his role in the European Commission and his possible influence on pharmacy regulation and profession? I know Dr. Andriukaitis from his term as Health Minister in Lithuania. He is a very passionate politician and medical doctor by training, therefore a strong ally of healthcare professionals in the Commission. In his address to the PGEU members, during the opening of our annual symposium last year, he expressed his support to the expanding role of pharmacists in health care and as well thanked for the contribution we have made already. Organisation of health systems is an exclusive competence of member states and EC has limited power in that, as well as in the relation to pharmacy profession. However, the support of Commissioner is very important for us going forward.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

In order to realise our professional mission, the support of other health professionals is crucial. It is no secret that older generations do not have a very close collaboration with medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists etc. Future lies in your hands and if you have a chance, start building collaborations at early days, because the time when all these professions worked in silos is over. Since you have witnessed it from both sides, how did the collaboration between EPSA and PGEU evolve over the past years? How do you foresee the future of community pharmacy in Europe? How can students prepare for it? Modern pharmacy is about patients; our professional mission is to help improve patients’ outcomes, help healthy individuals to preserve their health at any stage of their life and ultimately improve our patients’ quality of life. This is a natural evolution in response to the challenges posed by an ageing society, the burden of chronic diseases, modern lifestyles and economic pressures on health systems. We can see that community pharmacists offer an increasing number of services to their patients and society. In the near future, I believe services such as medicines use reviews, new medicines services and various screening services will be recognised as an essential part of European health systems. It is important that students and recent graduates share this vision. Pharmacists need to be lifelong learners and be prepared to take responsibility for patient outcomes.

I have noticed that EPSA has become more professional and much better organised. Organisation has grown tremendously, thanks to dedication of all executives and people involved. EPSA and PGEU relationship has always been good; no surprise that currently two past EPSA members are working in the Secretariat. I hope that this relationship between the two associations will continue to evolve and I will surely play my part in this. 3 words to describe: a. PGEU: Community pharmacists voice b. The EU: European market economy c. EPSA: EPSA spirit forever What is the best memory/experience you have from your times in EPSA? One last advice for the students. There are many… Difficult to point out one. Of course I will never forget that moment when I found out I was elected as HLM. Bostjan Čeh, IMP father, received his HLM title the same day and I was so proud to share that special moment with him. Advice?! Well, enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy. That is the whole secret. And going that extra mile pays off eventually.

Maja Šerčić EPSA Vice President of External Affairs | @EPSA_Online


Map of Europe

K.N.P.S.V., The Netherlands From 6th until 8th November 2015, Swiss students visited Leiden for our Twinnet weekend. We began the weekend with an opening drink at the ‘Science Club’. After the luggage drop-off, we started our Dutch Night with pizza and afterwards went for a Pub Crawl. On the next day we had an interesting symposium at the ‘Boerhaave Museum’ with an EPSA Trainer. Afterwards, we had a city tour, dinner at a students’ society, played Crazy 88 and went to our Black & White party. It was amazing!


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association


AFÖP, Austria It happened on 16th January - in an imperial palace named Hofburg, in Vienna. Some would call it a fairytale they experienced, for others it was like a dream come true. At the annual Ball of Pharmacy, you were invited to dance in various ballrooms and admire the imperial surrounding. AFÖP had the pleasure to welcome over 80 pharmacy students from 24 different nations who altogether enjoyed a wonderful weekend, full with fun side activities. We are looking forward to welcoming all of you and more to next year’s Ball of Pharmacy in Vienna.

ŠSSFD, Slovenia On 24th of October 2015, ŠSSFD hosted its 1st Symposium on the topic of Oncology. Eleven lecturers (including doctors, pharmacists, nutritionists and patients) delievered nine hours of learning to participants - who had applied managed to apply within the first two minutes of the opening of registrations. Lectures were followed by two panel discussions. In November 2015, Twinnet finally came to Slovenia again! ŠSSFD partnered with PSANS, Novi Sad, Serbia, and 21 participants got the opportunity to spend two weeks together exploring, learning, having fun and making friends for life.

MUPSA, Turkey Approximately 25 MUPSA members went to “Dialogue in the Dark” on December 3, International Day of People with Disability. It is an extraordinary day and experience that gives you a better understanding of real life situations for blind people. In this exhibition, visitors were led by blind guides in small groups through specially designed, darkened rooms and navigated through the rooms with no sight. In addition you encounter with some barriers, which help you to empathise with those who have visual impairments. You explore the unseen and learn to see in darkness.

Events Calendar

See what is coming up in the next months 21th EAHP Congress When? 16th - 18th March 2016 Where? Vienna, Austria What? The Annual Congress of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) is the largest professional education, science and practice congress for hospital pharmacy in Europe, gathering over 4000 participants from all over the world, and the next Congress is coming right to the heart of Austria – the beautiful capital city of Vienna! The topic of the year is “Hospital pharmacists taking the lead – partnerships and technologies”. How much? Students €110, Young professionals €400 More info?

22nd EAFP Annual Conference When? 12th - 15th May 2016 Where? Châtenay-Malabry, France What? EAFP’s - European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy, Annual Conference brings together deans and professors from faculties of pharmacy around Europe. Join and find out more about post graduate studies in pharmacy education! More info?

13th EPSA Autumn Assembly When? 1st - 6th November 2016 Where? Cluj-Napoca, Romania What? EPSA brings pharmacy students together for another Autumn event. The education programme consists of a scientific symposium, parallel sessions with workshops and trainings. The topic is “Mental Health”. More info? events/epsa-events/autumn-assembly


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

39th EPSA Annual Congress When? 18th - 24th April 2016 Where? Helsinki, Finland What? Join EPSA’s biggest event where you can learn during the Educational Symposium and Science Day, interact during Workshops, enrich your knowledge during Soft Skill Trainings, debate in the General Assembly, enjoy the sights and get to know new people from different countries. How much? 2nd registration period: €400 More info?

TOPRA Regulatory Careers - Live! When? 27th April 2016 Where? London, United Kingdom What? The Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (TOPRA) offers you a great one-day introduction to regulatory careers. If you want to learn more about how to build a successful career in regulatory affairs, this event is perfect for you! How much? Free for TOPRA Student Members More info?

18th EPSA Summer University When? 2nd - 8th August 2016 Where? Białystok, Poland What? European Summer Holidays in Poland with Soft Skill Training, a Public Health Campaign, enjoyable social programme and lots of fun, of course! How much? 1st registration period: €230 More info? events/epsa-events/summer-university Get to know more about these events via Event Calendar on Would you like for your event to appear here? Write us to:

EPSA Executive contacts Don’t hesitate to contact us EPSA President Katarzyna Świderek

EPSA VP of Internal Affairs Nikola Lazarevski

EPSA Secretary General Črtomir Fleisinger

EPSA VP of Education Adéla Firlová

EPSA VP of Public Relations Joana Melo

EPSA VP of External Affairs Maja Šerčić

EPSA Treasurer Catarina Nobre

EPSA Office Rue du Luxembourg 19 bte. 6 B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

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How? Go to, “Members” and check out the page about the Individual Membership. Fill in the application form and send it to the EPSA VP of Internal Affairs (​ This newsletter is produced by EPSA and is distributed to all EPSA members, national pharmaceutical students’ organisations, faculties, official bodies and partners. | @EPSA_Online


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