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European Pharmaceutical Students' Association | Bringing pharmacy knowledge and students together. Volume 23 | Edition 3 | April 2016

EPSA Interns Living in the EPSA House in Brussels

Trainers on Tour An adventure throughout Europe

Annual Reception Reducing prices of medicines?

GSK puts patients at the heart of every decision we make. That’s why we continue to change how we do business. In the interest of integrity and transparency, we are improving the way we work with doctors. We are the first in our industry to stop payments to medical experts for speaking about our prescription medicines and we are refreshing how we support medical education. Find out more European at Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Table of contents Editor’s words Presidential words

#EPSAeverywhere EPSA Support Fund EPSA Internships in Brussels


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Alcohol and Drugs Interactions Campaign Trainers on Tour EPSA-IPSF Joint Campaign

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EPSA Annual Reception Report


Alumni Where are they now?




Dear reader, I am happy to present you the third edition of the Newsletter. When reading through the pages of the last Newsletter of the mandate 2015-2016, you will dive into the active network of EPSA that is bringing pharmacy knowledge and students in Europe together. EPSA is a network that keeps growing. In the striving towards our vision: “reach and engage every single pharmacy student in Europe to collaborate on the development of the future of pharmacy and healthcare together”, we start this edition by making a visual overview on how the EPSA spirit can be present everywhere. Next to that, you will find an article about the tour EPSA Trainers did, visiting several faculties in European cities, to share the impact of soft skills on personal development. On the following pages of this brand new edition of the Newsletter, you will find EPSA Interns’ working experiences in Brussels, the heart of Europe. For further interest on our latest achievements, do not miss the articles about educational activities and read more about our mobility project - TWINNET that is not only expanding the EPSA network but also helping students to develop themselves by exchanging ideas, concerns, and practices. To all the authors of this Newsletter edition, the Editorial Board, the Public Relations Department my sincere thank you. To the reader, I invite you to turn the page and get inspired!

JAHWF Conference EAHP-EPSA Internship Platform EHSAS

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Map of Europe Events Calendar EPSA Executive contacts

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Yours in EPSA,

Joana Melo EPSA Vice President of Public Relations

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


Presidential words

Strengthening the EPSA network It has been just a month since many of us have participated in our event of excellence, the EPSA Annual Reception, hosted in the European Parliament in Brussels. Excellent speakers addressed the audience with their perspectives on medicines pricing and a heated debate followed afterwards. It was a pleasure to welcome you all to the centre of the European Union and to show you what EPSA can achieve on the European level. You can get an insight into the event and side activities around it on the next pages. A month has passed and here we are, right before the start of our biggest event of the year, the 39th EPSA Annual Congress, taking place in the marvellous city of Helsinki in Finland. The Reception Committee worked hard to welcome you to their country, show you their culture and provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and networking for all of us. However, for some of us attending a Congress of this format would not be possible due to financial reasons. Throughout the years, EPSA has developed a solution for that and many students have benefited from the EPSA Support Fund at the Autumn Assemblies and Annual Congresses. This Newsletter features several testimonials from previous Support Fund receivers.

Nevertheless, before we start the Congress let us take a look at what happened in EPSA in the last months. EPSA has been literally everywhere! Our Team and Trainers had the pleasure to participate in many of your local events, sharing the EPSA spirit and hopefully encouraging many of you to get more involved. The first edition of Trainers on Tour happened this year between 7th and 19th March, where pairs of Trainers were travelling around Europe delivering soft skills trainings to students on the local level. It has been a great success and the EPSA Training project reached another milestone this year. Looking back at 9 months of my mandate and keeping in mind a few more ahead, with the new Team 2016-2017 elect by our side throughout the handover period, I would like to take this point to thank my amazing Team 2015-2016 for all their efforts, engagement, motivation and spirit. It is an unforgettable journey and I am deeply saddened it will come to an end in July this year. End of the journey for some will be a beginning for others. I encourage you all to take up this challenge and get more involved in EPSA, be it on your local, national or European level. You will not regret it, neither will I. Yours in EPSA,

Katarzyna Ĺšwiderek EPSA President


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

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2nd EPSA Team Meeting, Malta

AFÖP, Ball of Pharmacy, Vienna

4th EPSA Team Meeting, Brussels 3rd EPSA Team Meeting, Brno


CPSA Congress, Croatia

EPSA Science Excursion, Malta

AEFFUL and UBIPharma Mobility Day

EPSA at ESTIEM Council Meeting, Vienna

TWINNET Lisbon - Norway

TWINNET Leiden - Geneva

World Health Students‘ Symposium, Macedonia


21st EAHP Annual Congress, Austria

Teddy Bear Hospital, Public Health Campaign, Malta

ŠSSFD Mobility Day, Slovenia

Train the Trainers, Brussels, Belgium

Trainers on Tour, Paris, France

EPSA Support Fund

Offering the opportunity to attend an EPSA event EPSA thinks about its members, especially the ones who cannot afford to attend its events but wish to experience the EPSA spirit at least once in their student life. The EPSA Support Fund offers fifty percent reduction of the congress fees to the applicants lucky enough to get it! Below you can read how some past Support Fund receivers found this opportunity. Follow us regularly to be updated on when the next call will be opened!

Michaela Krivošová What was my motivation to apply for a Support Fund? The answer is very easy. I have fallen in love with EPSA and its congresses, their atmosphere, members and ideas since I had my very first chance to discover all of them. However, in my opinion, I am not the only one who thinks that the registration fees and even more, the flight tickets to the congress destinations, might be somehow unaffordable for regular students. In our association and country, you get a financial support only if you are an official delegate at the congress or a member of the EPSA Team. Logically, I understand it. Definitely, I think that the EPSA Support Fund is a great chance for students who are very active and involved in students’ pharmaceutical associations to get to the congress, but are not official delegates YET (when considering the system in our country). After all, they once might become a part of the EPSA Team and this could be the first step.

Michaela Krivošová Participant of the 38th EPSA Annual Congress

Marta Simões I believe that every pharmacy student should attend an international event but unfortunately, paying a fee, transportation and having some pocket money is not always easy for everyone. I had previously heard about the Support Fund but in my mind I thought “Why would they grant me the support fund? I am not an official delegate neither a member of my students’ association” but thankfully I decided to go for it. In my opinion, this EPSA initiative is great and very clever too. With the Support Fund, I was able to attend my first EPSA congress in 2015 in Toulouse by paying only half of the regular fee. It definitely changed Marta Simões my perspective about my studies, my future career, other cultures and so many other things that I could not have Participant of the 38th ever imagined. So, for those who give up by just looking at EPSA Annual Congress the price, perhaps the Support Fund could be an option.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Alexandra-Mihaela Lupu Since I started volunteering I was really interested in international events but because of financial issues I was not able to participate in them. So the opportunity of applying and receiving an EPSA Support Fund was the possibility for me to enjoy the congress at its highest level. During EPSA Autumn Assembly in Malta, I had the chance to experience all the great things of an international congress, such as participating in a full educational programme with trainings and workshops that helped me develop different soft skills. I can easily say that by taking part in this congress, I have grown professionally and personally by networking with students and pharmacy professionals from different corners of Europe. The workshop that had the most impact on me was “Chat with Professionals”, where I enjoyed every second and was able to ask as many questions as I wanted and discuss with people that work in many different fields of our profession. This Alexandra-Mihaela Lupu opportunity really helped me and I believe that every European pharmacy student should Participant of the 12th EPSA take advantage of it and take part in an EPSA Autumn Assembly congress.

Ana Lúcia Marques EPSA Support fund is a fantastic opportunity for students who do not have the financial capabilities to participate in EPSA events and without this opportunity, I would never had have the chance to go. I received the Support Fund for the 12th EPSA Autumn Assembly in Malta 2015. I had already attended the 38th EPSA Annual Congress in April 2015 and I did not want to miss another amazing EPSA event. So I decided to apply because I was not in a financial situation to otherwise participate. Still, I had the hope that I would go. I wrote a motivational letter explaining why I wanted so much to take part in the meeting and I asked my association to write a support letter. One day, I received an email with a positive answer and I felt so glad. Only by experiencing the spirit of EPSA events, one can realise how magical they are. You attend the educational programme which is very interesting and it gives you the opportunity to learn a lot. You meet new people, you visit a new country, you have fun. It is a week full of surprises. It is indescribable. I totally recommend everyone to go at least once. Furthermore, it is so Ana Lúcia Marques important that you are aware of what is going on outside your country in regards to the pharmacy field. Participant of the 12th EPSA Autumn Assembly Never give up on something you really want - always try it. | @EPSA_Online


EPSA Internships in Brussels

3 Team members, 10 months, 1 EPSA House The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) and the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) are long-term partners of EPSA. Thanks to this collaboration we currently have three EPSA Permanent Officers working part time for the above-mentioned Associations. Read more about the several projects that are sustained and managed by the EPSA Interns in Brussels 2015-2016: Maja Šerčić, Katarzyna Świderek and Suvi Sivula.

Maja Šerčić PGEU is the voice of community pharmacy in Europe, representing over 400.000 community pharmacists. PGEU is the oldest EPSA partner, having an EPSA Permanent Officer as part of the Secretariat since 2004. Their office also hosts the EPSA archives and headquarters. Having the opportunity to be involved in the everyday work of the organisation helped me to get to know the pharmacy profession throughout Europe better and understand the diversity of services and systems. I have learned a lot about European Affairs and legislation and have found great mentors in members of secretariat, who were always willing to advise me and help me understand important issues. The most important collaboration between the two associations at the moment, in my view, is the work on the Professional Qualifications Recognition Directive, where we joined our efforts in advocating for the updates in the description of the pharmacy course one has to undertake to fulfil the requirements for the professional qualifications to be recognised within the European Union. The list was not updated since 1985, therefore it is crucial to do so. For the position of the Vice President of External Affairs, it is crucial to be situated in Brussels. This is a very dynamic environment with a lot of opportunities to meet different stakeholders and represent EPSA and students’ opinions. Personally, this has proven to be one of the best experiences in my life, devoting a year to come to Brussels and work full time as a Permanent Officer. It has been a great learning experience that will for sure help me to face professional and also personal challenges in the future.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Maja Šerčić PGEU Intern

Katarzyna Świderek Being the EPSA President based in Brussels and working part time for one of our closest partners, EAHP, is a great opportunity for the head of the Association. That way I can be engaged in a different scope of activities compared to the one I could cover back home. Thanks to EAHP, I am monitoring EU Affairs closely and picking up matters of interest for both EAHP and EPSA, as well as helping drafting responses to various consultations released by the European Institutions to gather opinion of the public on a certain matter. When it comes to joint projects, I am managing the EAHP-EPSA Student Science Award, an initiative focusing on recognising students as authors of the best scientific research in the field of hospital pharmacy. With 16 submissions this year and the 2015 Winner, Rok Barle from Slovenia, being announced at the 21st EAHP Congress in Vienna, I am happy to state that the next edition of the Award will take place at the 22nd EAHP Congress in Cannes, with the deadline for abstracts on 15th November 2016. There are still a few months left of my internship and I already know I will be saddened by the end of it. It has been a remarkable experience, as EAHP has always been of great support for EPSA’s actions and I would like to thank the Staff for all their help.

Katarzyna Świderek EAHP Intern

Suvi Sivula Similar to Katarzyna, being an intern at the EAHP has been a great experience for me. My main projects in the office are the EAHP Congress Student Programme and the EAHP-EPSA Internship Platform. I have been managing activities related to student participants at the EAHP Annual Congress - the largest congress in Europe for hospital pharmacists - like advertising the Congress Student Package and helping with the organisation of the special student session and social programme. This year, we successfully hosted 130 students and recent graduates in addition to over 3500 professionals. I am also facilitating the EAHP-EPSA Internship Platform as Platform Coordinator. We have recently been upgrading the project and the next step is to find new internship placements. I am excited to see the further development of the project. You can read more about the platform on the next pages of the Newsletter. Living in the capital of Europe allows me to attend various events which are of interest for EPSA and EAHP, including meetings in the European Parliament. I have also attended events outside of Belgium, both professional and EPSA members’ events, as an EPSA representative. In addition to gaining knowledge, I have been able to network and to Suvi Sivula raise awareness about both Associations within and outside Brussels. I appreciate EAHP for this EAHP Intern internship opportunity as it has helped me in my position and has given me a lot for the future. | @EPSA_Online


Alcohol-Drug Interactions Drink and pill is not the thrill! In September 2014, I attended an event focused on alcohol and its consumption, the way it affects people, advocacy around it and other related topics, as the EPSA Social Services and Public Health Coordinator 2014-2015. During this event, we were divided into groups and were asked to prepare a project that could be implemented on the European level. Being coupled with the representative of the European Medical Students‘ Association (EMSA), gave us the the idea to carry out a campaign in collaboration. That way we could strengthen the connections and joint projects we have had so far, by simply supporting interprofessional collaboration, working together for the better future of all patients and the general public as well. We firstly designed posters on the spot and discussed the collaboration further. We decided to carry out the campaign on

the European level, raising awareness of the danger of combining alcohol with medications because many people are not aware of the fact that they can seriously damage their health by mixing medications with alcohol. We wished to create a huge campaign happening all around Europe, coming not only from pharmacy but also medical students, hand in hand. Because “Drink and pill is not the thrill!”. It was a really long journey, from the first idea to the agreements, the creation of a survey for the general public, analysis of data, preparation of the information for leaflets, planning the campaign itself together with all the promotional strategies, plans and design. In the middle of all that, the mandate changed not only for EPSA but also for EMSA which brought new people into the collaboration and I am truly proud of my successor, Ms. Elena Popa, Social Services and Public Health Coordinator 2015-2016, who did all the important work and brought this project into reality, something that we aimed for during the past year.

Adéla Firlová EPSA Vice President of Education


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Despite the fact that alcohol - drug interactions are present in our daily lives, usually the public does not recognise the following adverse reactions. In collaboration with EMSA, we had a workshop during the 12th EPSA Autumn Assembly 2015 in Malta to find out more about our students’ opinion on this matter. The goal of the workshop was to present the severe reactions that may follow as a result of these interactions to pharmacy student and to discuss what we can do as future pharmacists in this field. Moreover, to facilitate the distribution of the information, we presented the results we did in our associations in order to gain a general overview of the knowledge people have regarding this topic. The project’s focus groups were adolescents aged 13 to 20 and young adults, between 20 and 35 years old. We think that at this age we can still educate and monitor, track and try to see if the new information has any effect.

At the end of the workshop, with the participants’ help, we pointed out the main ways that pharmacy and medicine students can take action at local and European level to raise awareness about alcohol and drugs interactions. At the same time, we challenged the participants to find arguments that can sustain the interprofessional collaboration for this campaign and what benefits are there for future organisers of this campaign. Moreover, we even had the opportunity to write the Vision and Mission of this project and to brainstorm about the possible activities we can develop, to have a great impact on general public’s perception. After shaping the main lines of this campaign, we created a position paper that will strengthen our vision. I believe that the main benefit of having this workshop was to understand how this study can help in changing the perception concerning this matter. The materials are prepared and we already have an association ready to carry out this campaign at the local level. The main action point until the Annual Congress, has been to spread the news to all EMSA and EPSA members and to encourage them to conduct this campaign in their countries.

Elena Popa EPSA Social Services and Public Health Coordinator | @EPSA_Online


Trainers on Tour

An adventure throughout Europe Trainers on Tour (ToT) is a new Training Project’s activity that brings our Trainers to you, our Members! Between 7th and the 19th March 2016, two groups of Trainers delivered in seven different countries, allowing local students to participate in various trainings and possibly discovering some talents among them. As we truly believe soft-skills and personal development are fundamental in the construction of more complete citizens and health professionals, this activity came as an effort to provide these opportunities to more and more pharmacy students around Europe. Also, they had the wonderful opportunity of being trained by international Trainers: Minna Häkkinen (Finland), Raluca Radu (Romania), Vojtěch Ondra (Czech Republic), Vladimir Stamenković (Serbia), Mija Kavčič (Slovenia), Ognen Jakasanovski (Macedonia) and Monica Luca (Romania) packed their bags and travelled around on this amazing journey! Do you know where we were during this first edition? In the first week, we visited three amazing cities in Belgium, three charming cities in France and a very welcoming Freiburg in Germany! After that, it was the time to visit the awesome Slovakia, beautiful Austria, passionate Slovenia and enthusiastic Croatia! From public speaking and networking to stress and time management, many different topics were covered and many students were reached, making this first edition of Trainers on Tour a true success! Curious about the EPSA Training Project? You can find more information on the EPSA website or by contacting us through We are waiting for you!

Sara Torgal EPSA Training Coordinator


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

ŠSSFD Slovenia A lack of soft-skills trainers in Slovenia made it challenging to provide our students with trainings. Until now! EPSA Trainers on Tour took a three-day stop in Ljubljana and prepared four trainings for our students, one for members of ŠSSFD Team and one for the participants of the first part of Twinnet with Slovakia. The trainers delivering were Mija Kavčič (Slovenia), Monica Luca (Romania) and Ognen Jakasanovski (Macedonia). Thank you EPSA for providing us with such amazing experiences, incentives and collaborations. Hope to see another edition of ToT soon!

Neža Trpin & Katja Olenik LSs ŠSSFD Slovenia 2014-2015 & 2015-2016

AFÖP Austria AFÖP was proud to host Trainers on Tour in Vienna on 15th March. Vladimir Stamenković, EPSA Trainer from Serbia, delivered two awesome trainings on public speaking and motivation to an enthusiastic group of students. Soft skills are a neglected topic at our faculty, which is why some participants experienced their first training ever. The whole group agreed that it was a very beneficial and cheerful afternoon, which proves ToT being a project of success. Furthermore, it was a great opportunity to bring EPSA closer to Austrian students and to motivate them to join the Social Evening, organised for participants at the EAHP congress only two days later, and bond with pharmacy students from other countries there.

Viktoria Jungreithmayr LS AFÖP Austria

CPSA Croatia On Friday, 18th March 2016, EPSA Trainers on Tour made a stop in Zagreb. We had an amazing opportunity to be part of two training sessions and learn about motivation and group dynamics from the lovely EPSA Trainer Monica Luca. This type of dynamic learning is often neglected in education systems and we are aware Ante Begonja of the role of soft skills in our future careers. The skills one can gain during the trainings are exactly what makes one stand out and gives him added value. With many 4th year pharmacy student from Split important messages to take home, ecstatic energizers (#BananaShake) and numerous pleasant memories, I can CPSA Croatia only say I am looking forward to the next one.

ANEPF France Soft-skills trainings are very little known in France, even more for students that are not active in associations. When EPSA asked ANEPF to take part in ToT, I recognised a great way to bring trainings to light. And it was! Minna Häkkinen and Raluca Radu have visited three cities: Angers, Paris and finally Strasbourg. All the participants agreed - besides being an original and instructive learning, Mathieu Alcaide that the event was amazing. In three days, two or three sessions per day took place, and more than 80 students LS ANEPF France attended. Only positive outcomes and one wish remained: to welcome trainers again to do another tour in France. | @EPSA_Online


EPSA-IPSF Joint Campaign Mental Health Awareness Campaign “Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When “I” is replaced by “We”, illness becomes wellness.” ― Shannon L. Alder Public health campaigns are focusing on educating the general public on how we can prevent and deal with any disease. Also, through different activities, we promote health and awareness at every possible level. Mental Health Awareness Campaign, a joint project between EPSA and International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) started last year, having the “Stress release activities” as the main subtopic. This year, we will focus on “Depression” and how we can fight its stigmata. Depression is described by many scientists as a mental disorder that is characterised by several symptoms that can affect person’s thoughts, behavior, lifestyle, feelings and the general well-being. In collaboration with IPSF, we will prepare different activities related to this topic that will be developed in a week between 9th and 15th May. A special highlight will be a webinar that will focus on how a pharmacist can counsel a patient suffering from depression. Furthermore, we prepared well-informed and creative materials that will bring even more attention to this topic.

The main aims of this public health campaign are to: • Inform the general public about depression; • Emphasize that it is a real disease; • Share the ways of preventing the depression; • Inform how we can fight the stigmata; • Evaluate the role of the pharmacy/pharmacists in this health matter. Mental Health Awareness Campaign will be carried out on different social platforms where we will share our materials and facts about depression but we strongly encourage our members to conduct this public health campaign on the local level too, in order to increase its impact and to reach as many people as possible.

Elena Popa EPSA Social Services and Public Health Coordinator

Lara-Turiya Seitz IPSF European Regional Office Region Projects Officer


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

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Report from EPSA Annual Reception 2016

Will reducing prices of medicines ensure sustainability of healthcare systems in Europe? The 8th edition of the EPSA Annual Reception took place in the heart of the European Union, at the European Parliament in Brussels. A presentation of EPSA’s latest achievements was followed by a panel discussion centred on a topic important for our profession and future of healthcare: “Will reducing prices of medicines ensure sustainability of healthcare systems in Europe?” The panel consisted of representatives from different stakeholders, who presented their views on the matter. Menno Arnout, Director of Association Internationale de la Mutualité (AIM) explained that healthcare payers have not been interested in reducing prices but in making them reasonable, rather than making them only as low as possible. To start the discussion about what is a reasonable price, the healthcare payers believe that transparency of Research & Development (R&D) costs should be raised. He also pointed out that we often fail to discuss what happens after medicines come to the market. Yannis Natsis, Policy Coordinator, Access to Medicines from European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), pointed out that access to medicines is becoming a big social and human rights issue.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

He also tackled the question of transparency; he emphasised the importance of this topic since it involves health and human lives. He pointed out that the priority should not be the interest of stakeholders, but the interest of the healthcare system – accessible institutions and medicines. Elizabeth Kuiper, Director of European Affairs, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) explained that the medicines present 17% of healthcare expenses and this has not been changing in the past years. She stated that the current models of pricing the drugs were not sustainable. High priced medicines require different pricing models, as those should be outcome oriented. Elke Grooten, Director of Public Affairs, Sandoz Europe, highlighted how the increased use of cost-effective medicines and biosimilar medicines have contributed greatly to the sustainability of the healthcare systems. Generic medicines increase the access to medicines and deliver better outcomes as generics account for 22% of medicines expenditure in Europe. Over the last ten years, the access to patients has doubled while having no distinct effect on the healthcare budget expenditure.

For me, this year’s EPSA Annual Reception started on Saturday 12th March as I arrived, alongside with Emma Bates (LS and NIMP for BPSA United Kingdom), for the EPSA Team Meeting at the PGEU office. Whilst we initially intended our attendance to be a short break from exploring Brussels, we spent the remainder of the weekend with the EPSA Team, making the most of a great opportunity to strengthen our involvement.

Jūratė Švarcaitė, Secretary General from Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) stated that every second patient is taking medicine as they should, whereas the health system was assuming that all the patients would take their medicines correctly. She pointed out what pharmacists do in pharmacies and how it can help the current situation. A lot of work is to be done on adherence; it should be made sure that medicines already in the market show the required effects. Jūratė emphasised that the box can be priced, but the service, which enables the box to deliver results, could not be. We should help patients to achieve the best results and ensure that the health systems do not waste resources, since the money spent on resources should be considered an investment and not expenditure. A lively discussion with the audience, composed of approximately 100 pharmacy students, stakeholders in the pharmacy field and European institutions followed. Topics such as accessibility of medicines, transparency of expenditures, investment in prevention and pharmacists as a central role in healthcare were tackled. It was pointed out that pharmacists were an untapped resource across the entire healthcare system. The role of pharmacists would be crucial in assuring the sustainability of the healthcare system in the future.

Maja Šerčić EPSA Vice President of External Affairs

The array of activities planned was impressive, and a testament to the incredible organisation of the Annual Reception. The science excursion, tour of European Parliament, and the visit to the Parlamentarium were some of the pre-Reception highlights. The Annual Reception itself exceeded expectations, with a variety of debates and talks. Some of the topics discussed include whether companies are focusing too much on the development of “me-too” products rather than on innovation, methods of waste reduction such as labelling products with their cost and counselling patients appropriately and how we can reduce the cost of healthcare without compromising patients’ health. In his closing statement, Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, MEP for Romania, praised the debate, the panel of speakers and the organisation praise I could not agree with more. I would wholeheartedly recommend Annual Reception to every student with an interest in European healthcare.

Conor McCahill Participant of the EPSA Annual Reception 2016 BPSA United Kingdom

The whole Annual Reception was live-streamed and is available on the official EPSA YouTube channel. | @EPSA_Online


Where are they now? Alumni

Directly from the EPSA Alumni themselves Timothy Robinson I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom. My pharmacy career has been firmly set within community pharmacy. I started by being a Locum Pharmacist, working for various pharmaceutical companies around the Northwest. I then secured an employment with PCT Healthcare Ltd, who I had previously completed my 12 month registration with in 2012. The company is one of the largest Independent Multiple Companies in England, owning 120 pharmacies. I was appointed as a Relief Pharmacist working in varying pharmacies, developing my role further as a service based pharmacist. I managed to lead a project on helping to develop consultation skills and services that our pharmacies provided. As well as having short and long stints based as a temporary manager in some of the pharmacies. Last year I was promoted to Pharmacy Manager. Since then, I have been responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient management of the pharmacy business. This involves providing core services, and also more advanced services which also benefits the patients and increases remuneration for the company. This allows me to push my clinical skills and try to move away from being a dispensing based pharmacist towards a more clinical pharmacist role. I believe that being involved in EPSA has helped me to develop and push my career boundaries through great educational programmes and congresses that I have attended. My journey began in 2008, in Manchester at the Summer University. Many congresses later I am still involved today and it always brings me great pleasure to do so. I have been Official Delegate, as well as holding position of Parliamentary Council Member and also Alumni Coordinator and I Timothy Robinson am also part of the Alumni Advisory Board now. My involvement and working relationship with EPSA has EPSA Alumni Coordinator allowed me to build a network of friends with whom I 2014-2015 have developed strong professional and social bonds which will last a lifetime.

Vikki Ginday It must be said that EPSA and the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) hold an equal claim on my development as a Specialist Clinical Pharmacist. Where EPSA excels has been in training me to network across borders, appreciate cultural differences as if they were my own, and to critically appraise the value of different modes of communication within the workplace. All powerful tools to harness within an increasingly multi-cultural pan-European market. Vikki Ginday Students and professionals across Europe can only prosper from learning from peer countries; a lesson that EPSA keeps teaching from year to year.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Honorary Alumni

Certain things in life happen out of serendipity and EPSA was quite a discovery that I was not planning to leave behind. I became part of this family in 2009, when I was appointed as the financial sub-committee member (a role long gone now!) followed by three years as a NIMP Coordinator and finally as an Official Delegate for Greece at the Annual Congress 2013. Needless to describe to you, readers, what EPSA represents and the impact it has to those who attend even one event but I will say this: EPSA made me realize that one can do anything one sets in mind. For me, that was the motivation I needed to set my career goal of joining a multinational company in motion.


Celia Chounta

In fact, this is exactly where I am at the moment. I joined GSK in the summer of 2015 with the purpose of housing my MSc thesis project and I am now, a year later, in its affiliate, ViiV Healthcare in London. My role is in a very challenging and demanding function, namely: Health Outcomes, in the Global Franchise and it involves working cross-functionally with the Medical and Commercial Teams. Our aim is to generate global strategic health outcome plans and Celia Chounta produce evidence that will enable to achieve better access to care and more treatment options for HIV EPSA Financial patients across the globe. Final words? Stay true and Subcommittee 2009-2010 follow your heart! Best of luck!

Svetlana Kolundžić I started in EPSA in 2012 as a Liaison Secretary for NAPSer Serbia and joined the EPSA Team for the mandate of 2013-2014 as Parliamentarian. The following year, I was elected as the President and I also took part in a Team for a couple of months as the Immediate Past President during the 2015-2016 mandate. Though EPSA was taking a lot of my time, I managed to graduate and finish the one-year internship in both community and hospital pharmacy, and at the moment I am preparing for Serbia’s state examination in order to get a license. In January 2016, I joined the Serbian office of Les Laboratoires Servier for an internship in their Marketing department. From Day 1 it was clear to me that I will be using the skills gained in EPSA – from personal, professional and online communication – to organise Svetlana Kolundžić both small and large scale events. More importantly, I believe that my managers really appreciate the EPSA President “European perspective” I brought to the office and the 2014-2015 fact that no matter how many tasks they assign me, I manage to finish them on time. | @EPSA_Online



Improving mobility among European students Twinnet is a mobility programme that fulfills all the expectations of travel lovers. It is a programme where you can discover new cultures, make friends for life and get out of your comfort zone. This programme aims to promote and increase students mobility across Europe, through the exchange of good practices between 2, 3 or 4 groups of students from different countries.

more than making exchanges among pharmacy students. It is inestimable, the positive outcomes can come out of interprofessional exchange. The Interprofessional Twinnet between different healthcare areas provide students with a different perspective on healthcare and allows them to exchange ideas, concerns and practices.

It is through non formal education that students develop themselves and exchange good practices. Twinnet dreams bigger. Twinnet is a project that goes beyond the borders of pharmacy and it is much

Ana Marcelino EPSA Grant Coordinator

The Portuguese – Norwegian Twinnet When people from two countries with a remarkable contrast decided to embrace the unknown and discover the differences between both cultures, it is when a new adventure “EPSA Twinnet Project Lisbon – Bergen” started. We had the opportunity to learn about pharmacy in Norway and noticed the gaps that clearly exist between different schools of pharmacy in these two entities of Europe. At the same time, we discovered a new world full of possibilities, which was extremely enriching for our professional future. Twinnet is also about cultural sharing and it is the perfect opportunity Mariana Mousinho to broaden our horizons and increase our cultural knowledge. The Norwegian team provided us with a quite rich social programme where we could not only Twinnet participant experience the mountains and Norway’s pure nature but also the best attractions and sights in Bergen.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

The Slovenia-Slovakia Twinnet The first part of Twin16: Slovenia – Slovakia took place in Slovenia between 19th and 22nd March and joined nine participants from each country for four days of amazing adventures. You might ask me what part I liked the most. Well, there was the collaboration joining Twin and Trainers on Tour for one of the best trainings I have ever attended. The joy of showing foreigners around my hometown and experiencing it through their eyes anew. The paintball session, where we cemented ourselves as a team, the early spring day and the first ice-cream at the coastal town of Piran. Even the educational programme, composed of a lecture on challenges of social pharmacy Katja Olenik and a visit to a pharmaceutical company turned out to be a great fun. But the best part, of course, were the nights. Twinnet Co-organiser, The nights that created lasting bonds and, on the last ŠSSFD Slovenia day, parted us as friends. Luckily, we will not stay parted long as we will see each other again in Bratislava.

The Slovenia - Serbia Twinnet Our Twinnet was a wonderful experience! Our lovely Slovenian colleagues welcomed us warmly, introducing us to the city of Ljubljana bit by bit during our stay. We found the educational part of our visit very diverse, interesting and useful. The topic of the exchange was “The Challenges of Industrial Pharmacy”, so we had the opportunity to hear about industrial pharmacy, get acquainted with faculty labs and also listened to a pharmaceutical chemistry lecture. Our lively group also spent some quality time on field trips. And finally, one of our last days in Slovenia was settle for our coastline adventure, setting out for Piran and Portorož. Our Twinnet was amazing and so much fun I cannot think about it without smiling! How could I not, when I have met so many lovely people and felt like we have known each other for years? Our hosts from ŠSSFD set up a rich schedule for us and I can only hope they feel we returned the favour when they visited us in Novi Sad.

Mina Grguri Twinnet participant

The Hungarian - Czech Twinnet My first organised Twinnet was an unforgettable and rewarding experience. After almost a year of communication, I did not believe it could come to a successful ending. Now I feel proud of my Czech team, as well as the Hungarian team. What I found very important, but difficult to organise at the same time, was the educational programme. I recommend that every coordinator starts planning it as soon as possible. There might be many interesting pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, well-known specialists, pharmacists or researchers interested, but they need time to prepare to give you a lecture. Last but not least, you really do need a team you can rely on! It is almost impossible to organise the best Twinnet ever just on your own. And of course, everybody wants to organise the best Twinnet ever!

Michaela Krivošová Twinnet Coordinator, CzPSA Czech Republic | @EPSA_Online


JAHWF Conference Just another abbreviation? “Pharmacists will retain their essential role in dispensing and supply of medicines”, “Norway has new a medicine service which helps patients with the adherence to their medication”, “Ireland vaccinates in pharmacies as well as the UK! This raises the level of vaccination across the population”, “A New pharmacy contract negotiated in Portugal includes many pharmacy services”.

Policies (Irene A. Glinos) were present. The main outcome was that Europe already faces a shortage of healthcare professionals. According to WHO, in 2035, we will lack 18 million healthcare workers.

These and many other tweets could have been read under the hashtag #JAHWF between 17th and 19th February 2015, when the 3rd Conference of JAHWF took place. But JAHWF? What is it? Another of many abbreviations? Exactly! Literally! The abbreviation stands for Joint Action for Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting which deals with the shortage (but also oversupply) of healthcare workers. During this two-days conference, I had the pleasure to join other European stakeholders and discuss about the future of, us, the healthcare workers.

After the symposium, parallel sessions took place, which allowed participants to choose the part of Joint Action they were interested in. I chose to attend a session with the topic of Health Workforce Education Abroad: “Is this a business, an opportunity, a need, a real brain drain or all four?” We started the session with a very interesting presentation delivered by professor Ian Cumming, member of Health Education England, who shared the United Kingdom’s perspective and lessons learned from training and migration between their four countries. During the presentation, professor Cumming compared the situation in all four countries of the United Kingdom to help us understand the topic.

Starting with the symposium which was moderated by Michel Van Hoegaerden, the Joint Action Health Workforce Programme Manager from Belgium, several speakers shared their key notes. We had the opportunity to hear from several members of Ministries of Health in Bulgaria, but also the Secretaries of State from Slovakia (Mario Mikloši) and Moldova (Nicolae Jelamschi), as well as Directorate General for health and food safety from the European Commission (Caroline Hager) and also Federal Public Service of Health (Michel Devriese) and European Observatory of Health Systems and

“Young professionals are stem cells of the healthcare system”

An interesting project that derived from the collaboration of Germany and Bulgaria was introduced as the next part of the programme. In Germany, more than 40 000 youngsters apply for a medical faculty per year, however, only a small percentage can make it due to the capacity of faculties, and this small percentage does not cover the needs of the German healthcare system. Therefore, Germans paired up with Bulgarians to yearly send German students to finish their education in Bulgaria, where the capacity is higher. German students shall return after their studies to boost the healthcare workforce. To see the perspective of students as well, we were able to hear the presentation of medical students from the University of Varna, two being Bulgarian and two German. The comparison of both systems of education took place and an interesting discussion arose.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

The last presentation of the panel was delivered by a representative of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), Diogo Fernandes da Silva, who covered the topic “What are the favourable conditions for healthcare students to study and get a steady employment in their home country?”. Mobility of professionals was also discussed in the afternoon session, where Mr. Jelamschi shared the Moldovan situation and pointed out that Moldova is the country with the highest level of healthcare workforce emigration – over 80% of nurses leave for Italy, which creates a shortage of professionals in Moldova, as well as creates a high rate of unemployment of Italian nurses. Hungarian situation was introduced by Eszter Kovacs from Semmelweis University – emigration of healthcare professionals is now a reality there, as well as in other countries. With one exception – dentists. Unlike other services, dentistry attracts many patients to Hungary, the main driving force being the good quality care and the lower costs. Therefore, it is important to consider not only the mobility of professionals but also patients. During the day, main ageing consequences on health workforce and on the growing imbalances were discussed. After this, the future skills and competences of the health workforce in Europe were discussed with Matt Edwards from the Centre for Workforce Intelligence. We were also able to listen to the only pharmacist-delivered presentation of the conference – the Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Group of European Union, Mr. Ilko Getov, took us on a journey of innovative plans that were recently presented in European countries and showed us the roles of the pharmacist in the context of the ageing and mobile population.

Impact of health determinants and demographic factors on distribution of health professionals was presented by Nadia Veleva from Medical University of Pleven, Bulgaria. Here, one of the topics was the gender difference and women who leave for maternity leave without returning back to the healthcare system. The penultimate session I attended was delivered by two student representatives. Ms. Stintje Dijk from the IFMSA, presented the current situation of medical education and stressed out the need for a better composition of curricula and unification in order to reach an equal and equally high level of the education across Europe. An Interesting idea that arose from the discussion was the use of Problem-Based Learning, the style of education where students are taught to think critically and out of the box by using many case studies and other materials. The presentation of the results from the EPSA survey on mobility and workforce was delivered at the last session, introducing the current situation on what our members wish for, as well as what we are already working on through different projects such as Lifelong Learning Programme, Career Page development and Mentoring Project. All in all, I considered the conference to be very successful and fruitful and I very much hope to see these points being taken into consideration in future decisions made by professionals. Because no matter what, we are pharmacy students today, healthcare workforce tomorrow.

Adéla Firlová EPSA Vice President of Education | @EPSA_Online


EAHP-EPSA Internship Platform

Looking for a hospital pharmacy internship abroad? EPSA has been working for years in close collaboration with the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, EAHP. Mrs. Aida Batista, EAHP Director of Professional Development and EAHP Board Member responsible for the initiatives for students, talks about the collaboration between EPSA and EAHP on the EAHP-EPSA Internship Platform: “The mission of EAHP is to develop the pharmaceutical profession within Europe to ensure continuous improvement in care and outcomes of patients in hospital settings. This aim is achieved through science, research and practice, and also through sharing best practices and responsibilities, starting with adequate education of pharmacy students. A few years ago, EPSA expressed to EAHP the need to build a network of hospital pharmacies throughout Europe, which would allow students the opportunity to conduct an internship abroad before graduation. Although there were already other internship programmes, none were specific to hospital pharmacy. The EAHP internship programme was launched in 2012, and last year a small survey was conducted to understand how it was perceived by the participants. The conclusion was that students and hospital pharmacists, in general, considered the experience rather fulfilling and were quite satisfied.” Asked about the development of the project, Mrs. Batista said: ”From 2016 on, the project is called the EAHP–EPSA Internship Platform. It is a database of hospitals that volunteer to receive international students or recent graduates for a period of time,

ranging from 1 to 3 months. Applicants should complete the application form available on www., send it directly to the chosen hospital and wait for an answer. Applying and acceptance must be reported to EAHP for database maintenance and monitoring. In May 2014, EAHP launched an initiative that led to the approval of the European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy by hospital pharmacists, patients and other healthcare professionals. Now it is time to monitor and enhance the implementation of the Statements, and for that purpose EAHP has a new challenge for interns and hospitals joining the EAHP– EPSA Platform. The challenge for interns in their learning process and for hospital pharmacists in their teaching process is to make a possible linkage between the practice and the Statements. Thus interns will realise the scope of what was approved in Europe for pharmaceutical practice and hospital pharmacists can, in a simple way, start to measure and monitor implementation of the Statements.” Currently there are 16 hospitals in the database but a call for new placements has been launched in order to get new hospitals involved. Hopefully soon we will be able to offer you more opportunities to have an internship abroad in the field of hospital pharmacy. Stay tuned! For more information about the EAHP– EPSA Internship Platform, go to Read the European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy by scanning this QR code:

Suvi Sivula EPSA Partnership Coordinator


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

EHSAS Collaboration between future healthcare professionals The lack of interprofessional collaboration among healthcare providers is an issue that is recognised not only by professionals but also by students. Students feel the need to strengthen the collaboration between healthcare professionals, in order to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. The collaboration between healthcare professionals allows the exchange of knowledge and perspectives regarding patient treatments. As students we care about our future and the future of healthcare. In order to discuss more about the interprofessional education as a landmark for interprofessional collaboration, four different healthcare students’ associations, European Dental Students’ Association (EDSA), European Federation of Psychology Students’ Association (EFPSA), European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA) and European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) met in Brussels between 12th and 14th February to hold the second European Healthcare Students’ Association Summit (EHSAS). During the summit we approached the lack of collaboration in the healthcare students’ education and recognised the need for interprofessional education, if we wanted an interprofessional collaboration to be a must in the future. Interprofessional education should work as a collaborative approach to improve the quality of education

that is offered to healthcare students. It would be tremendously beneficial for professionals to deal with complex patient needs that require more than one discipline, once future healthcare providers would work in interprofessional teams. Potential benefits for advocacy and educational activities were also acknowledged during this summit. A press release regarding the summit was published and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been created between all the organisations to ensure the sustainability of the summit. The future release of position papers between the present organisations present was seen as an asset to strengthen our position and to voice our concerns regarding the tenuous interprofessional education. EPSA, as an association concerned about the future of healthcare, recognises the added value of such collaboration and it was very inspiring to realise that the ambition to bring interprofessional collaboration forward was shared amongst the other healthcare organisations.

Ana Marcelino EPSA Grant Coordinator | @EPSA_Online


Map of Europe

ANEPF, France ANEPF France is holding two Twinnets during the month of April - with BPSA UK and BPhD Germany. The city of Angers is welcoming 25 students from the University of Nottingham, UK. This continuous exchange has started already 4 years from now. Two weeks after, the city of Grenoble receives 9 students from Frankfurt. In France we love Twinnet. UBIPharma, Portugal On 16th February, UBIPharma organised an educational activity about health titled “Farmacêutico Dentolas”, with the main objective to teach young children about oral hygiene. There were 37 volunteers that went to two different kindergartens (“Infantário sediado na Fundação Imaculada Conceição” and “Infantário II da Santa Casa da Misericórdia da Covilhã”) and the pharmacy “Farmácia de São João” helped with giving out important information. At the end of the activity the youngsters happily applied what they were taught using the oral hygiene kits offered by “Pierre Fabre Laboratories”.


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

AEFFUL, Portugal During the first weeks of March, the first AEEFUL Public Health Campaign related to cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes took place. The campaign consisted of two days of lectures and a street and school campaign, where our students were able to perform a quick check-up on the general public, measuring height and weight, abdominal perimeter, blood pressure and cholesterol/ glycaemia.


BPhD, Germany In March, students of the University of Freiburg organised a Twinnet with students from Istanbul. 17 students from Istanbul stayed in Freiburg for 5 days. According to the motto “Pharmaceutical and healthcare challenges of the 21st century” the lecture programme included talks by Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and Pharmacists without borders. We also visited a German brewery and went hiking in the Black Forest.

ŠSSFD, Slovenia Skills Inductor - a new name of a brand new project! 6 weeks, 19 trainings and 15 different topics welcoming all students from the Faculty of Pharmacy in Ljubljana, both local and Erasmus. The official opening was even more special because the first 6 trainings were delivered by the 3 EPSA Trainers on Tour. Moreover, these trainings took place during the Twinnet with Slovakia, participants of which also attended them.

MUPSA, Turkey MUPSA wanted to draw attention of the public on the issue of the antibiotic resistance. Our enthusiastic Public Health Team worked hard and created extraordinary campaign. We were informing passengers on a ship and reached almost 2000 people in one day. Our Campaign was also broadcasted on the most popular TV News and published in many newspapers.

Events Calendar

See what is coming up in the next months 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?

5th European MD-PhD conference When? 8th-10th July 2016 Where? Strasbourg, France What? The 5th European MD-PhD conference will be organised in France by the AMPS (the French association for MD-PhD students). This conference will be the opportunity to exchange ideas with researchers who are well-recognised in their field, to broaden your knowledge and expand your network by meeting other MD-PhD students from all over Europe. How much? €100 More info?

13th EPSA Autumn Assembly When? 1st - 6th November 2016 Where? Cluj-Napoca, Romania What? The Autumn Assembly is the second biggest EPSA event. Under the topic of “Mental Health”, participants will attend symposia and parallel sessions that will include workshops and EPSA trainings, as well as the General Assembly. How much? 1st registration period (start on the 5th July) More info?


European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

9th EPSA TNT When? 21st - 28th May 2016 Where? Oslo, Norway What? Training New Trainers is an EPSA event focused on finding and educating future EPSA Trainers. During the TNT, you will receive the appropriate training (on topics like learning styles, communication, training design, training delivery, etc.) to help you on becoming the best Trainer you can be! More info?

20th IPSC When? 11th-17th July 2016 Where? Portorož, Slovenia What? The aim of the International Pharmaceutical Summer Camp (IPSC) is to bring together pharmacy students from Europe over summer holidays. At the camp, a rich educational and social programmes will take place. You will also have a lot of possibilities to meet new and interesting people. How much? €160 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 (from 1st May): €230 More info? 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

Did you enjoy reading the EPSA Newsletter? Don’t miss the future editions of this publication by becoming an Individual Member in EPSA.

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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