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Looking forward to the EAHP 2004 Congress


Carole Mongin-Bulewski
Editor, HPE

The 9th EAHP Annual Congress will be held in Seville, Spain, in March 2004. This article provides an overview of the forthcoming conference.

The main focus of the 9th EAHP Annual Congress will be on optimising the use of anti-infective agents, relating it to the role of hospital pharmacists in the establishment of a successful antibiotic policy in hospitals. This is a crucial issue, as resistance to anti-infective agents, such as antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals, is growing. The European Commission is strongly calling for measures to be taken regarding this problem.

The keynote lectures will focus on the management of quality systems in healthcare, which will aim at identifying the pharmacist’s role in the healthcare improvement agenda, the European policy on the prudent use of antibiotics and the (mis)use of pharmaceuticals in sport.

In addition, educational seminars and satellite symposia will cover other relevant topics. An educational seminar and some other seminars will concentrate on pharmacoepidemiology, with case studies and methodologies being presented. In addition to seminars on the different aspects of the fight against resistance to anti-infective agents, presentations on stroke management, the purchasing of drugs across borders and antineoplastic therapy will be given.

Optimising the use of anti-infective agents
The first keynote presentation of the conference, by Dominique Monnet (Denmark), will present the European policy on the use of antibiotics. In addition, several scientific and practice sessions and industry-sponsored satellite symposia will focus on this topic.

During the first seminar on the first day of the conference, Bob van der Stichele (Belgium) will explain how to establish a successful antibiotic policy in hospitals, recommending careful use of antibiotics; the role of the hospital pharmacist in this context will also be detailed. Another seminar on the same day, by Stef Bronzwaer (Luxembourg) and Jonathan Cooke (UK), will present the European map of antibiotic policies and, again, the role the hospital pharmacist can play. The mechanisms and epidemiological causes of antibiotic resistance will be discussed in relation to antibiotic use. The natural genetic engineering of antibiotic resistance will also be presented, by Fernando Baquero (Spain), who will give insights into epidemiological differences in Europe; John McGowan (USA) will explain how antibiotic use is the cause of resistance. A seminar on therapeutic drug monitoring of antibiotics in neonates will be presented. Dimitris Panidis (Greece) will focus on the clinical aspects of the problem, detailing in which circumstances such monitoring is required. The technical aspects of this issue will be discussed by Maria Skouroliakou (Greece). Finally, epidemiology and new approaches to the treatment of viral infections will also be discussed.

Other seminars
Moving on to a related topic, the Congress will discuss new approaches to the treatment of fungal infections.

Recent advances in the management of occlusive stroke will also be presented. The clinical aspects (ie, progress made in therapeutic approaches) will be detailed by Menz Werner (Germany). The role of the pharmacist in this context – how a stroke unit can be organised in the hospital – will be considered by Derek Taylor (UK).

The safety of both patients and hospital pharmacists regarding anticancer therapies will be examined. In particular, safe methods for preparing cytotoxic drugs that are optimal for therapy will be discussed.

Finally, two seminars on economic aspects will be presented, one on pharmacoeconomics and the other on regulations on purchase of drugs in Europe, presenting the way international pharmacies work.

Educational seminar on pharmacoepidemiology
The conference organisers expect about 50 participants for this seminar, which will be conducted by Mirjam Sturkenboom, Margreet Filius and Loes Visser, from The Netherlands. The seminar will comprise a general introduction, two interactive case studies prepared by all participants and a presentation on pharmacoepidemiology – how to relate drug use to factors such as effectiveness, side-effects, resistance and economics.

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