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Gastroenterology patients require increasingly specialist pharmaceutical input. The pharmacological treatments of gastroenterology patients are complex and rapidly progressing. Essential clinical expertise and clinical leadership in this continuously changing arena is required of us pharmacists providing services to gastroenterology patients. Many treatment decisions made require a specialist pharmacist with not only an understanding of all the clinical issues, but who is also part of the multidisciplinary team. Our understanding of national and international clinical guidelines and participation in strategic networks is key to providing expert advice and leadership that encompasses a clinical, operational and strategic overview.
The difference in pharmacists’ roles when caring for gastroenterology patients varies across Europe. There are different levels of responsibility, involvement in different aspects of care such as dispensing, the multidisciplinary team, research and development of innovative aspects of care. This might vary widely from country to country and even hospital to hospital depending on the local disease epidemiology and the gastroenterology team.
In the UK, an increasing number of pharmacists are getting involved in the clinical multidisciplinary team,1 infusion clinics and operational networks.2 We deliver care and efficiencies across a wide population for high-cost drugs in addition to traditional pharmaceutical care delivered at the bedside, and dispensing medication in the hospital pharmacy department.
A specialist pharmacist can lead and initiate complex treatments based on balancing uncertainties and provide a resource point to direct high quality patient care.
An aim is to establish a network of European pharmacists involved in the care of the gastroenterology and hepatology patient, to assess the current pharmacy practice across Europe and to provide a platform to share best practice and support development initiatives.
The objectives of a European network of gastroenterology pharmacists would be:
We would initially conduct a short survey to establish current practice and research training needs and provide a networking platform to share best practice helping directing high quality delivery and monitoring of clinical services.
If you would like to be part of a new and exciting development in the arena of gastroenterology pharmacy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org