The European Society of Clinical Pharmacy (ESCP) was founded in 1979 by clinical practitioners, researchers, and educators from various countries across Europe. Since its foundation, there has been a gradual and sustained growth of clinical pharmacy in many European countries.

Clinical Pharmacy Definition

While there are many definitions of the term clinical pharmacy, a number of ambiguities remain. In order to clarify the ESCP position on what defines clinical pharmacy, a consultation exercise was conducted among ESCP members with the findings used as the basis for an updated definition.

The full paper was published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (

Core definition: Clinical pharmacy aims to optimise the utilisation of medicines through practice and research in order to achieve person-centered goals. 

Clinical pharmacy 

(1) represents both a professional practice and field of research.

(2) aims to optimise the utilisation of medicines in order to achieve person-centered and public health goals.

(3) as a practice encompasses cognitive, managerial and interpersonal activities targeting all stages of the medicines use process, and as a field of research generates knowledge that informs clinical decision-making, health care organisations and policy.

(4) as a practice is restricted to members of the pharmacy team.

(5) can be practiced regardless of setting.

(6) encompasses pharmaceutical care but is not restricted to it.

Our Vision

ESCP is an international leader in advancing quality and innovation in clinical pharmacy education, practice and research.

Our Mission

ESCP is an organization that promotes, supports, implements and advances education, practice and research in clinical pharmacy in order to optimize outcomes for patients and society.


  • promotes the value and impact of clinical pharmacy services among health care professionals, scientific societies, health authorities and the public
  • raises awareness of clinical pharmacy practice and its activities across Europe and internationally (e.g., through publications)

ESCP advances education by…

  • providing symposia, workshops and specific courses on innovative approaches to clinical pharmacy education, development and delivery
  • supporting ESCP members and institutions in identifying, organizing and delivering quality teaching programs in clinical pharmacy

ESCP advances practice by…

  • providing a forum to share knowledge and ideas that develop and stimulate innovation in clinical pharmacy practice
  • engaging and supporting international, national and local leaders in clinical pharmacy education, practice and research
  • promoting a philosophy of practice in which clinical pharmacists are members of a multidisciplinary team of patient-centred health care providers

ESCP advances research by…

  • disseminating clinical pharmacy research findings
  • stimulating innovative and high-quality research in all areas of clinical pharmacy
  • promoting and enabling multi-centre research in all areas of clinical pharmacy both within countries and between countries or differing healthcare delivery systems

The definition, mission and vision are available in a number of translations below.