In May 2016, Professor Irene Krämer was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande) in recognition of her outstanding work in pharmacy. Professor Krämer is a frequent contributor to HPE and many readers will be aware of her work. She has been the Director of Pharmacy at the University Hospital in Mainz since 1991. She is well-known for developing high-quality clinical pharmacy services and for her rigorous scientific research. She has supervised – and inspired – many PhD students from Germany and other countries. She has also been active in the German Society for Hospital Pharmacists (ADKA) and has served as president of the organisation.
A few highlights of Professor Krämer’s career illustrate her commitment to the profession:
In 1987 she started to build up the capability for central preparation of cytotoxic injections. In doing this, she compiled the so-called ‘Krämer list’ of stability data for injectables, many of which she determined through original research. She has continued to work in this field and is widely-recognised for her rigorous scientific research and contributions to the literature.
She was one of the pioneers of clinical pharmacy in Germany and has achieved nationwide and international recognition for her work in this field. During the 1990s she drew on her experiences in the USA and contacts in the UK to build up clinical pharmacy services in her hospital. On the basis of her excellent knowledge of the science of pharmacy, she has continually developed clinical pharmacy services to improve the quality of care for patients. In addition, she established clinical pharmacy as key subject in the Pharmacy Department at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and continues to develop both the content and the teaching methods of the course. One exemplary element of this has been the teaching of pharmacy students alongside medical students.
She has more than 100 publications in scientific journals and these demonstrate that she is a scientist with a particular interest in research that is directly relevant to practice of pharmacy and medicine. Her latest venture, ‘Networked medication safety with the electronic medication record in the Rhineland Palatinate’ – a project which she conceived and leads – underlines her grasp of the ways in which new technology can be harnessed to improve patient medication safety.
Professor Krämer has always sought to support and encourage young pharmacists to reach the highest standards in their practice.
Since 2012, Professor Krämer has been Vice-Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the State Chamber of Physicians of Rhineland Palatinate and since 2013, a member of the Expert Committee on Prescribing of the Federal Institute for Medicines and Medicinal Products.