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A closer look at what’s on offer at Maastricht


The 13th Congress of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists will be held at Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre, Maastricht, Netherlands, on 27–29 February 2008.

Peter Finn

Supervising Editor

Hospital Pharmacy Europe

he congress theme is “Hospital Pharmacists: Added Value for Health”. Presentations will consider how research leads to new developments that can be implemented as a part of the hospital pharmacy − making pharmacists’ jobs easier by helping to solve their problems, and giving added value to services.
The keynote speakers will focus on political, professional and future points of view. Professor Bert Leufkens (Utrecht University, Netherlands) will speak on the added value that the hospital pharmacist brings to patient care and healthcare in general, covering the area from a broad scientific patient-care and political background. Professor Lars Heslet (National University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark) will speak on the value of the hospital pharmacist as a member of a clinical team in an intensive care unit from a practical and scientific point of view. Professor ­Heslet has extensive experience of developing hospital pharmacy services in collaboration with hospital pharmacists. The topic of a further keynote presentation, by Donald Hughes (Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, Rhyl, UK), remains to be confirmed.
Other presentations include:
● Handling gene therapy drugs in Europe, by
Dr Nicola Stoner (Cancer Research UK, Oxford, UK) and Dr András Vermes (Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands). Gene therapy drugs are starting to be used in European hospital pharmacies. They will soon be encountered in everyday practice. The issue is: how should pharmacists stock, distribute and prepare this group of drugs for patients in the hospital? The seminar aims to provide an introduction to how pharmacists can address these issues and make hospital pharmacies ready for their future roles in this area.
● Hospital pharmacists making medicines available, by Reinout Schellekens (University Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands) and Professor Jan Raaijmakers (GlaxoSmithKline/Utrecht University, Netherlands). Drug distribution has been a basic task for the hospital pharmacist from the profession’s earliest days. Today’s challenges include how to handle drug shortages and how to cover the need for medicines for small groups of patients and clinical specialties in pharmacists’ own hospitals. The challenge presented by ever more demanding Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for IV drug preparation is also a development. This seminar aims to describe trends and challenges, together with ideas for practical solutions to these problems.
● Improving the quality and rate of ADR reporting in hospital pharmacies, by Dr Kees van Grootheest (Dutch Pharmacovigilance Centre LAREB, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands) and Professor Gordon Schiff (Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA). How can hospital pharmacists improve reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs)? Practical experience and published data indicate that important information is not being reported for new drugs to the extent that it should, and useful experience is not being implemented. This seminar will discuss problems and practical solutions.
● Measuring the added value of the hospital pharmacist, by Dr Antonio Melo Gouveia (National Oncology Institute, Lisbon, Portugal), Dr Marianne Ivey (Health Alliance, Cincinnati, USA) and Dr Hadewig Colen (Medisch Spectrum Twente, Enschede, Netherlands). The difficulty of demonstrating the real value of hospital pharmacists’ work to management has constituted a major obstacle to improving and developing hospital pharmacy in some European countries, with negative impact also on clinical pharmacy. At the same time, production and distribution activities provided by hospital pharmacies compete with those supplied by industry and wholesalers, underlining the need for evaluation of services. This seminar aims to consider outcome measures for hospital pharmacies.
● The value of the pharmacist in the preparation and distribution of nuclear pharmaceuticals, by Professor Per Hartvig (Copenhagen University, Denmark) and Dr Alistair Millar  (Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, UK). Within nuclear pharmacy, the role of the hospital pharmacist has been linked with distribution of drugs based on long-lived isotopes and the production of very short-lived isotopes, often with the pharmacist as the qualified person responsible for Good Manufacturing Practice. This seminar aims to focus on these roles as they are today and on how they are expected to develop.
● The role of the hospital pharmacist in psychiatry, by Dawn Price (Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, UK), Elisabeth Eide (Haukeland Hospital Pharmacy, Bergen, Norway), Hans Mulder (Wilhelmina Hospital, Assen, Netherlands), and Francisco Martínez-Granados (Alicante General Hospital, Spain). This aims to outline the hospital pharmacist’s role when working within the clinical team looking after patients with mental illness.
● The role of the hospital pharmacist in childcare, by the Neonatal Paediatric Pharmacist Group (London, UK). This aims to describe the role of the pharmacist in paediatric care and give new inspiration. The seminar will focus on contributions made by the hospital pharmacist to the clinical team, with emphasis on current normal practice in Europe for preparing and supplying drugs and advice for children.
● Patient safety in Europe, by Dr Susan Proulx (Med-ERRS, Huntington Valley PA, USA). The focus is on European initiatives from countries at the forefront of the process that has been developed with the US Institute for Safe Medication Practices. These will be evaluated using knowledge gathered by the ISMP.
● The value of the hospital pharmacist in the prescribing process, by René Groulsch (Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, Netherlands) and Nicola Wake (North Tyneside General Hospital, North Shields, UK). Supplementary prescribing by pharmacists has been undertaken in the UK for some time and is considered to be a way hospital pharmacists can help improve the prescribing process and therefore patient safety and care. The process has now moved on to allow independent prescribing by pharmacists and nurses. UK experience will be presented together with experiences gained from using clinical rules as a part of the prescription process in hospitals.
● Collaboration and standards for small hospital pharmacies, by Dr Marie Rancakova (Czech Republic), Gitte Søndergaard Nielsen (Næstved Hospital Pharmacy, Denmark) and Dr Juraj Sýkora (Ministry of Health, Bratislava, Slovak Republic). Many European hospital pharmacies have only limited resources with respect to staffing and other expenses. Working as a professional hospital pharmacist in such a pharmacy presents a special challenge because the need for services means staff are often keen to expand the service beyond their resources. This seminar aims to focus on how such pharmacies organise their work and will provide ideas on how to expand such services.
● IT systems for use in the hospital pharmacy, by Dr Frits Elferink and Jenneke Wijbenga (Royal Dutch Association for the Advancement of Pharmacy, The Hague, Netherlands), Mirjam Rommers (Leiden University Hospital, Netherlands), and Jan Bruin (National IT Institute for Healthcare in the Netherlands NICTIZ, The Hague, Netherlands). Hospital pharmacy IT systems will be reviewed, with emphasis on frontline systems used for traditional hospital pharmacy processes.
● E-health solutions in hospital pharmacy, by Inger Bjeldbak-Olesen (Hospital Pharmacy Roskilde, Denmark) and Ann Jacklin (Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK). ■

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