ESCP Spring Workshop 2024 was held in Bratislava, Slovakia

The ESCP 2024 Spring Workshop took place at the Faculty of Pharmacy Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia on 25th – 26th April 2024 on “Pharmacotherapy challenges in the developing years: from conception to adolescence.” “More than 100 clinical pharmacists from all over Europe and beyond got together to share their knowledge, research and network.” The workshop had the patronage of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic, and the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Over the two days, there were five plenary sessions as part of the scientific programme.

Angela Lupattelli from the University of Oslo (Norway) talked about the challenges of pharmacotherapy in pregnant and lactating women. These included how risks for drug exposure are perceived in these populations, how observational research is interpreted, and how risks are communicated. Andrea Burch from the University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland) gave us an overview of the significant changes in how drugs are processed by the body during pregnancy and after giving birth. This means keeping a close eye on things and possibly adjusting the dose or the dose interval during pregnancy to keep the desired effect and after the baby is born to avoid any unwanted side effects. Sander Borgsteede from Health Base Foundation (Netherlands) shared the development of recommendations for men who want to have children when they’re on medication that might affect their desire to have children, the actual recommendations and how they’re being put into practice in clinical pharmacy. Erik Puchoň from the National Toxicological Information Centre (Slovakia) shared his insights on the various types of intoxications due to medications, chemicals, and plants. Pharmacists are valuable health care providers who can bring their experience as first-line health care workers in pharmacy as well as be part of hospital care and poison centres teams. Matej Štuhec from the University of Maribor (Slovenia) gave a very enthusiastic talk about non-pharmacological approaches and basic pharmacology and treatment guidelines for ADHD management, as well as presenting clinical cases from his practice. The insights gave the participants a better understanding of how to manage ADHD in clinical practice.

In the four workshops, participants discussed a range of topics: therapeutic drug monitoring in pregnancy and paediatrics (Martina Hahn and Sibylle C. Roll, Germany); searching for information and assessing the risk of pharmacotherapy in pregnancy and breastfeeding (Kateřina Malá Ládová, Czechia and Anna Oleárová, Slovakia); an innovative tool for drug dosing in neonates and paediatrics – PEDeDose (Priska Vonbach, Switzerland); and clinical pharmacy in NICU using the Iatromed tool (Sonia Prot-Labarthe, Sixtine Gilliot and Héloïse Capelle, France).

A nice atmosphere of the workshop was underlined at the Welcome reception in Primate´s Palace (Primaciálny palác). We were welcomed by prof. Ján Klimas, the dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, and given a private guided tour of the Palace, followed by a tour of the Old Town Bratislava.

A big thank you to all the plenary speakers; workshop moderators; Scientific and Organising Committees of the Spring Workshop; as well as the excellent support of the Faculty of Pharmacy Comenius University Bratislava; to our sponsors (Saladax and DoseMe); and all participants for sharing their knowledge and skills, for sharing their own work by presenting a poster/ oral communication, for networking and for being in Bratislava!
Hope to see you again at one of our future events.

Text: Anna Oleárová; Photos: ©Michal Valentin

Optimizing Patient Care: Administering Psychotropic Medications via Enteral Route

Mental Health SIG

Colleagues from the ESCP Special Interest Group Mental Health have prepared a very useful leaflet on Optimizing Patient Care: Administering Psychotropic Medications via Enteral Route.

Psychotropic medication users, including inpatient and outpatient individuals such as geriatrics, nursing home and intensive care unit patients, may require enteral feeding tubes (EFTs) when oral intake is
inadequate or gastrointestinal tract access is limited.
The aim of this leaflet is to provide essential information and valuable resources specifically focused on psychotropics administered via the enteral route.

Specific guidelines for psychotropic medications via the enteral route are currently lacking. Therefore, members of the ESCP Mental Health SIG have compiled a list of commonly used resources where you can find information about different medications.
Simply scan the QR code at the bottom of the leaflet to access these resources. If you know of any helpful resources that you have used in your country, please feel free to share them with us ( Your contribution will be greatly appreciated.

European Council for Pharmacy Education Accreditation – ECPhA

The European Council for Pharmacy Education Accreditation (ECPhA) was officially launched in mid-November. The ESCP is a founding member of ECPhA, together with the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP).

ECPhA’s goal is to support improvements in the quality of continuing education in pharmacy practice in healthcare settings across Europe via accrediting live and online lifelong learning events. ECPhA will work in collaboration with national healthcare professional associations and accrediting bodies.

For more information about ECPhA and the accreditation process, please refer to the ECPhA brochure.

The ECPhA team will soon start the process of approaching national accreditation authorities to discuss potential recognition of ECPhA credits. Thus, we are identifying the contact persons in each country with the goal of asking for a first meeting. If you are in a position to have information regarding who within your country should be contacted, please let the ECPhA team ( know so they can start building a contact database.

In addition, ECPhA is seeking pilot reviewers for the accreditation of the events. Reviewers will ensure that the event complies with ECPhA criteria. It is expected that a reviewer will spend around 3-4 hours per event on a voluntary basis for a maximum of 2 events per year. If interested, please email the ECPhA team ( for further information.

In Discussion with…

It is our pleasure that prof. Derek Stewart, the ESCP President, gave interviews to Dr. Christine Clark from Click to read, watch & listen:

  1. Why join the European Society for Clinical Pharmacy?
  2. How ESCP special interest groups forge worldwide links
  3. Building best practice in clinical pharmacy
  4. How the Oath to Society underpins clinical pharmacy practice
  5. What are ESCP developments and aspirations?

Summer 2023 Updates from the Committees

Update from the General Committee (by Derek Stewart)

The General Committee is the ESCP leadership body and is responsible for driving the strategy of the society. We now have a vacancy for a position on the General committee. All non-student members will have received an email about this opportunity to make a major impact on ESCP and clinical pharmacy at the global level. Please consider this carefully and submit an application. The deadline is 01 September 2023.

We are delighted that to announce that we have recently signed a collaborative agreement with Polish Society of Clinical Pharmacy, with benefits for both societies. The number of national agreements is increasing; if you are involved with your national clinical pharmacy society and would like to explore partnership, then please get in touch. We continue to progress the establishment of the European Council for Pharmacy Education Accreditation (ECPhA) and will provide updates in future newsletters.

Update from the Education Committee (by Kateřina Malá Ládová)

In Summer 2023, EdCom welcomed a new member from Germany representing ESCP General Commitee. Dr. Martina Hahn will support working of EdCom and connect the visions of GC into EdCom.

The EdCom strategic plan for 2023 is ongoing, especially autumn webinars organized by EdCom are coming. In September, the webinar will be focused on increase awareness for pharmacy professionals on public health disasters and emergencies.

In October, the webinar will be held on behalf of EdCom and is hosting an expert panel discussion focused on:

1) Experiential learning – its integration into the undergraduate curriculum, and strategies to support and optimize its impact;

2) Continuing Professional Development – analysis of the current challenges and opportunities regarding access, implementation and evaluation.

Update from the Special Interest Group (SIG) Council (by Bart Pouls)

In the background ESCP is are working on communication within SIGs to facilitate the sharing and building of ideas on clinical pharmacy. During the conference in Aberdeen, all three SIGs will showcase themselves and have a slot within the program where you can hear what’s happening and become a member too!

Please click here for more information.

Research being conducted by ESCP members

We are happy we can introduce the research of our members. This time we introduce the research of Ugur Balaban from Turkey.

Ugur works as a research assistant in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy at Hacettepe University in Ankara. His research interests include drug pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics during therapeutic plasma exchange and renal replacement therapies, therapeutic drug monitoring, and antimicrobials. Currently, Ugur and the team from Department of Clinical Pharmacy, work on questionnaire study. They aim to contribute to the existing literature and increase awareness among clinicians regarding antimicrobial treatment practices in patients undergoing therapeutic plasma exchange.

Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), a therapeutic procedure in which blood of the patient is passed through a medical device which separates out plasma from other components of blood. The plasma is removed and replaced with a suitable replacement fluid (e.g., human albumin, fresh frozen plasma). TPE aims to remove disease-associated pathogenic elements from the patient’s plasma, including autoantibodies, toxins and cytokines.

It is important to note that TPE not only removes pathogenic elements from the plasma but can also result in the removal of drugs. There are no definitive guidelines about antimicrobial drug removal by TPE or the appropriate antimicrobial drug dosing in patients undergoing concurrent TPE. Based on this, the purpose of this questionnaire study is to highlight treatment practices in patients receiving antimicrobial drug treatment and undergoing concurrent TPE, as well as clinicians’ knowledge and attitudes. The questionnaire is primarily aimed at physicians working in the departments of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology, as well as intensive/critical care. Furthermore, physicians from other departments are also encouraged to participate.

We as a clinical pharmacists could help Ugur and his team with distributing the questionnaire among a wide range of physicians we are collaborating with by sharing the link. For more information contact Ugur directly:

Ugur Balaban, Prof. Dr. S. Kutay Demirkan, and Dr. Emre Kara (Faculty of Pharmacy at Hacettepe University in Ankara)

Who Is Who?

During the ESCP Spring Workshop in Antwerp we had the opportunity to hear the results of the work of young colleagues from Latvia and Malta.

Anna Gavrilova

Anna has a pharmacist diploma and she is currently pursuing a PhD in clinical pharmacy. Her research focuses on the safety aspects of direct oral anticoagulants among patients with atrial fibrillation. She is primarily involved in academic work, and she teaches courses on “Pharmaceutical Pharmacology” and “Pharmacotherapy in Pharmacist’s Practice” along with her colleagues at Rīga Stradiņš University (Riga, Latvia). Collaborating with her esteemed colleagues in various disciplines, they aim to provide comprehensive education and contribute to the advancement of pharmaceutical knowledge. Their institution established the new Pharmaceutical Education and Research Centre, which significantly promotes their research efforts and enables us to conduct more extensive studies.

The goal of drug therapy is to be safe and effective. During the ESCP Spring Workshop, Anna shared her research findings on the significance of direct oral anticoagulants’ (DOAC) concentration measure assays for patients taking amiodarone simultaneously. It was discovered that, in atrial fibrillation patients receiving amiodarone before scheduled electrical cardioversion, higher-than expected concentrations of DOACs are found for rivaroxaban and edoxaban users. This event provided an excellent opportunity to discuss practical concerns regarding the optimization of medication usage, risk decreasing against bleeding, and providing high-quality care to this patient cohort. The experience has motivated her to further her research to discover objective control mechanisms of long-term DOAC therapy.

Anna´s department has substantial experience in studying adherence problems to antihypertensive therapy. Achieving optimal blood pressure control, the main goal of antihypertensive treatment requires patient cooperation in addition to effective medication. Available evidence suggests that up to 90% of patients with AH may miss treatment, and ~ 50% may discontinue therapy within one year of diagnosis. Their recent survey results indicate that every other patient is non-adherent in Latvia, which is a concerning finding. Prescription databases analytical study also supported these results. However, both of these methods have disadvantages, so they are not commonly utilized in daily clinical practice. Thus, there is a need for more independent methods to measure adherence, such as determining the concentration of an antihypertensive drug or metabolite over a prolonged period of therapy, minimizing the risk of subjectivity.

Anna concluded: “The clinical pharmacy offers numerous advantages in healthcare. By actively involving pharmacists in patient care, clinical pharmacy enhances medication safety and optimizes therapeutic outcomes. Pharmacists with expertise play a pivotal role in medication management, conducting medication reconciliation, identifying and resolving medication-related problems, and providing drug information to healthcare professionals and patients. Interdisciplinary teams promote effective communication and collaboration, resulting in improved patient care. Moreover, it contributes to research and education, expanding the knowledge base and ensuring evidence-based practice. Given our shared interest in patient safety, medication optimization, and adherence, I invite everyone to consider collaborating on future projects and initiatives to further advance clinical pharmacy practice and contribute to the betterment of patient care. Together, we can make a meaningful impact in this field.”

Raquel Formosa

Raquel is 22-year-old Maltese final year pharmacy student reading for a Master in Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) degree at the University of Malta.

During the Spring ESCP Workshop in Antwerp, Belgium, Raquel presented an oral communication reflecting findings from her dissertation, which focused on ‘Pharmacist-Led Personalisation of Antiplatelet Therapy and Outcomes After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention’. The research was conducted under the supervision of Dr Francesca Wirth, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Malta and Member of the Research Committee of ESCP. The research was undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Cardiology at Mater Dei Hospital, the main acute general hospital in Malta.

There is currently an ongoing dilemma regarding the choice and duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The research aimed to assess bleeding risk, optimise antithrombotic therapy and evaluate outcomes in patients undergoing PCI. Two hundred patients undergoing PCI and candidates for DAPT were prospectively recruited for this cohort study. Bleeding risk was determined using the PRECISE-DAPT score, which was not routinely used in local practice. Low bleeding risk patients on oral anticoagulation therapy and all moderate-to-high bleeding risk patients were discussed with the cardiologists for therapy optimisation, taking into account also ischaemic risk. Cardiologists accepted the researcher as part of the team and considered the bleeding risk evaluation proposed by the researcher, where changes in treatment where made as necessary. Patients were followed up over a 1-year period post-PCI for morality, bleeding and ischaemic outcomes. Application of the PRECISE-DAPT score in this setting was innovative, and the research demonstrated that pharmacist-led evaluation of bleeding risk supported cardiologists in the personalisation of antithrombotic therapy post-PCI.

Disseminating research as an oral presentation in this year’s ESCP workshop was a valuable opportunity for Raquel, especially since it was her first time participating and disseminating research in an international forum. Raquel valued the insightful feedback received from the workshop attendees and it was an enriching experience which she will cherish. From a networking perspective, she made new connections with international peers in the field of pharmacy. It is definitely an experience that should not be missed, and young researchers are encouraged to become members of ESCP, submit research abstracts and attend activities organised by ESCP!

ESCP Spring Workshop 2023 was held in Antwerp

In April, ESCP welcomed participants from 19 countries to its international workshop ‘Advancing clinical pharmacy and care in diabetes and cardiovascular comorbidities’ in Antwerp (Belgium).

The program for the 2-day workshops had four plenary sessions.

  • Philip Newland-Jones discussed the future and forefront of type 2 diabetes management to optimize care and reduce future risk of complications.
  • Alia Gilani shared her experiences as senior diabetes clinical pharmacist working in a UK general practice setting within an area of high deprivation and diversity. Developing innovative services she managed to provide care to hard-to-reach groups.
  • Frederik Verbrugge provided an update in cardiovascular co-morbidities prevention with an extensive overview of must-read scientific papers underlining both preventive measures (smoking cessation, limit salt intake, …) as well as pharmacological and surgical treatment options.
  • Goos Laverman presented the Diabetes and Lifestyle Cohort Twente (DIALECT) as example of an integrated approach to reach treatment targets in persons with type 2 diabetes.

In the four workshops, participants discussed the following topics: safe use of injectables and devices in diabetes patients, lifestyle and personalized diabetes treatment in primary care, tackling inequalities in medication management and medication review and management of diabetes in patients with multimorbidity.

The integrated management including preventive and lifestyle measures as well as pharmacological and nutritional management focusing on all aspects of our (multimorbidity) patients is key.

Spring arrived just in time to create a nice atmosphere for walks both in lunch break as well as to welcome participants to the city hall of Antwerp for the reception. We were welcomed by the city with local beers and received a private guided tour of the city hall.

Thank you to all speakers and participants for sharing your knowledge and skills, for sharing your own work by presenting a poster/oral communication, for networking and for being in Antwerp! Hope to see you again at one of our future events.
Text: Siska Desplenter, President of ESCP Spring Workshop 2023. Photos: © Bart Heleven

Pre-Summer 2023 Updates from the Committees

Update from the General Committee (by Derek Stewart)

The General Committee is the ESCP leadership body and is responsible for driving the strategy of the society. We are continuing to move with delivering our 2022-2024 strategy and are now working with external consultants, 3Sixty Healthcare Meetings Consultancy, on a number of key areas surrounding event planning and strategic partnerships with industry.
We have now approved the 2023 plans for each of the ESCP Committees. These are exciting and ambitious plans which will impact the products that we deliver for our members. We are very grateful for the hard work of the committees and look forward to future updates. Each committee has provided an update of activities in this newsletter.
We are also pushing forward on collaborative agreements with several national clinical pharmacy societies, with mutual benefits for ESCP and the national societies. If you are involved with your national clinical pharmacy society and would like to explore partnership, then please get in touch.
You will read later in the newsletter about our continued work on the Oath to Society with the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP). Along with EAHP, we are also progressing the establishment of the European Council for Pharmacy Education Accreditation (ECPhA) and will provide updates in future newsletters.
We have also had very productive discussions with the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Associations (EPSA) regarding collaboration and are in the process of meeting with the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF).

Interested in joining the General Committee? Watch this space for announcements of vacancies.

Update from the Communication Committee (by Derek Stewart)

For the last year, Derek Stewart ESCP President has chaired the Communication Committee. During that time the committee has been increasingly active in improving communication to members and non-members. If you are not already doing so, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The committee is now working on an ambassador initiative, which will be presented to the General Committee in the next few months and then piloted. Watch this space!

Derek is now handing the chair of the committee to Esteban Zavaleta.

Esteban Zavaleta, PharmD, MSM, has more than 17 years of experience in hospital and clinical pharmacy. Although his position is related to different administrative activities, he is actively involved in several clinical and research projects. Esteban has been active in a variety of pharmacy organizations in Costa Rica, and currently, he is an active member of several global pharmacy organizations such as ESCP.

Esteban aspires to improve the communication with current active members and invite other clinical pharmacy personnel around the world to join ESCP´s initiatives.

In March, we also welcomed a new committee member.

Dr Abdu Soltani, Assistant Professor in Clinical Pharmacy & Molecular Neurosciences. Abdu joined the Academic Quality Department at Qatar University Health in 2021. He completed his PhD at King’s College London in 2011 (Molecular Neurosciences & Medicinal Chemistry).  Abdu has over 10 years’ experience as a clinical pharmacist, research investigator and quality assurance person at King’s College London, University College London & University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Abdu’s research interests are focused on optimizing the clinical management of neurological & psychiatric disorders in addition to medical education. Looking forward to joining the fantastic team of ESCP’s communication committee.

Update from the Education Committee (by Kateřina Malá Ládová)

In Spring 2023, EdCom welcomed three new members

  1. Dr. Hamde Nazar, director of education and senior lecturer in pharmacy practice, School of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Dr. Joanne Brown, clinical education pharmacist, Northern Ireland Universities Network

Dr. Valentina Buda, clinical pharmacist and associate professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, “Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Romania

All three have become immediately involved in EdCom activities so that the action plan for 2023 can be fulfilled.
EdCom also organizes and supports ESCP webinars, the quality of which is demonstrated through the profiles of the internationally renowned expert presenters from across the world. Visit our website for more information.
The EdCom will also deliver a workshop at the ESCP symposium in Aberdeen later this year.

Update from the Special Interest Group (SIG) Council (by Bart Pouls)

The SIG task force is working on operationalising communications within SIGs and within ESCP together with ComCom and the webmasters. In addition, we are setting up the SIG council to learn from each other and determine how we can best support our vibrant community.
Interested in joining on of the SIGs or starting one with fellow ESCP members?
Please click here for more information.

Oath to Society – ESCP and EAHP continue to deliver on their promises

Brussels, 13 March 2023. Last Wednesday, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy (ESCP) brought together representatives of the healthcare community to talk about the provision of compassionate patient care, working as part of the healthcare team and advancing the clinical and hospital pharmacy profession. The discussion at the European Parliament focused on unmet health needs, clinical pharmacy services, workforce shortages and the impact of medication errors and the lack of comprehensive, and European-wide data on their occurrence.

Many did not know before the launch of the EAHP-ESCP Oath to Society in October 2021 that both professions carry out a variety of activities to ensure optimal treatment outcomes for patients. Almost 1,5 years after the launch, EAHP and ESCP decided to take stock and obtain insights from other stakeholders on how clinical and hospital pharmacists can continue to deliver on the promises included in the Oath to Society.

Reflecting on the value of the initiative ahead of the event, Martina Hahn, ESCP General Committee Member, pointed out that “the Oath to Society is an important step to raise awareness of the profession of pharmacists and clinical pharmacists in particular. All faculties across Europe received the Oath and if all students and all pharmacists in Europe stick to them and take on the new responsibilities now, every citizen will know what to expect from every pharmacist in Europe – a highly professional service to his or her best health and safety in regards to drug therapy.”

The event in the European Parliament – hosted by Member of the European Parliament István Ujhelyi – brought together key stakeholders that are engaging closely with clinical and hospital pharmacists. The panellists Thomas Kanga-Tona (AIM – International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies), Juan José Fernández Romero (EPF – European Patients’ Forum), Ber Oomen (ESNO – European Specialist Nurses Organisation), Pascal Garel (HOPE – European Hospital and Healthcare Federation) and Marc Hermans (UEMS – European Union of Medical Specialists) shared their positive experiences in working collaboratively with clinical and hospital pharmacists and showed why multidisciplinary approaches are paramount for improving patient care and lowering medication errors, not only in times when healthcare systems are burdened by shortages of medicines and healthcare staff.

The Oath to Society is the promise that the members of EAHP and ESCP make to patients and the public they serve, the healthcare professionals they interact with and the health systems they work in. The Oath functions as a compass for pharmacists to adhere to the highest standards of ethics, integrity and professionalism, as they provide service to the community over the course of their careers. Touching on trust and respect, different aspects of the patient care pathway, the multidisciplinary care team, disease prevention and health promotion, education and the future development of pharmacy practice, the Oath to Society is all-encompassing. In his closing remarks during the launch event, EAHP President András Süle thanked the participants for their valuable input and underlined that “EAHP and ESCP look forward to working on increasing the visibility of the Oath to Society by further disseminating them among patient and healthcare professional organisations, the reimbursement of clinical pharmacy and keeping the discussion alive with patients, physicians, nurses, health providers and payers.”

For further information contact | 00 322 669 2513

1. The European Society of Clinical Pharmacy (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. More information about the ESCP and its history here.

2. The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) is an association of national organisations across 35 countries representing hospital pharmacists at European and international levels. More information about the EAHP and its history here.

3. Access the Oath to Society here or here.

Views of a new General Committee member

Dr. Thomas Kempen, GC member

In 2017, during the first year of my PhD studies, I attended my first ESCP conference in Heidelberg, Germany. The value of sharing experiences and have discussions among colleagues from different countries was evident to me, having been active within an EU-funded project. Clinical pharmacists in many countries are facing the same challenges and are concurrently working with the same possible solutions. After the conference, I became a member of ESCP and attended more (digital) events in the following years. After finishing my PhD on medication reviews by clinical pharmacists in hospitalised patients, I started as a post doc on the role of the pharmacist in primary care with a focus on pharmacist prescribing. In 2022, I was lucky to successfully apply for a position as ESCP General Committee member. With a fresh look, I hope to drive the society forward in connecting as many clinical pharmacy researchers, educators and practitioners from Europe and abroad as possible. With high-quality events and activities (for a reasonable price) ESCP shall provide a platform for all to connect and network and to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas. For this year, we have been working on excellent programmes for our conferences in Antwerp, Belgium (April) and Aberdeen, UK (Oct/Nov). And for the upcoming years, we are working on a sustainable medium to long term event strategy concerning the selection, planning and organisation of our events, ensuring high-quality and affordable events for our members. In doing so, ESCP shall continue to support all of us in advancing clinical pharmacy to optimize outcomes for patients and society in the future.

Spring Updates from the Committees

Update from the General Committee (by Derek Stewart)

The General Committee is the ESCP leadership body and is responsible for driving the strategy of the society. Since the General Assembly meeting in Prague, we have been focusing on several key areas including,

  • the benefits that we provide to our members
  • review of the annual plans from the Communication, Research and Education Committees and the Special Interest Group Council
  • the society marketing and communication strategy
  • our approaches to event planning
  • relationships with national clinical pharmacy societies
  • relationships with international societies and organisations

We are delighted to have entered into an agreement of joint working with SIFaCT – Società Italiana di Farmacia Clinica e Terapia (Italian Society of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics).

Update from the Communication Committee (by Derek Stewart)

Over the past year, the communication committee has been working very hard to refresh the communication approach. As well as the work developing and introducing the newsletter, we have refreshed our approach to social media and email. We are very active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, with posts almost every day. Please follow us, like, comment, retweet and share the posts to increase the reach of our messages. Over the next few months, we will turn our attention to piloting an ‘ambassador’ initiative with ESCP members advocating for the society at national levels.

Update from the Education Committee (by Kateřina Malá Ládová)

The ESCP Education Committee (EdCom) coordinates the educational activities of ESCP and oversees the scientific level of these activities. The EdCom consists of pharmacy educators who meet monthly and collaborate on initiatives aligned to the ESCP strategic goals. The committee is now led by Kateřina Malá-Ládová from the Czech Republic as Chair and Zachariah Nazar from Qatar as Vice-chair; other committee members include representatives from Belgium, Poland, Turkey, and USA.

The EdCom has responsibility for ESCP webinar program and leads on all other educational activities. The committee also participates in the construction of the scientific programs of the ESCP events as well as delivers workshops, lectures, or oral communications in the ESCP events.

Initiatives of the EdCom for 2023 include: implementation of a plan to optimize the ESCP webinars with the addition of resources to encourage further interactive learning; the delivery of a pharmacy education workshop at the 51st ESCP Autumn Symposium; and the development of a clinical case study resource. We will also be exploring the educational needs and expectation of ESCP members, and are open to any suggestions for collaboration.

Currently, EdCom has five members, one of whom is a representative of the ESCP General Committee. We will very soon welcome three new members who will support the work of the committee.

Update from the Research Committee (by Martin Henman and Betül Okuyan)

Last year at ESCP General Assembly held during annual symposium in Prague, Martin Henman took over the chair of ESCP Research Committee from Vibhu Paudyal, and Betul Okuyan has become a vice chair of the Committee. There are nine members of the Research Committee. Anita Weidmann and Francesca Wirth have also joined ESCP Research Committee last year.

The commentary written by ESCP Research Committee members, led by Anita Weidmann entitled “How to write a successful grant application: Guidance provided by the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy” has been accepted for publication in International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy in 2023. Please check “how to… series” materials at ESCP website under Guidelines and Tools headings. ESCP Research Committee members are working on new topics which will be launched soon.

Vibhu Paudyal will run ESCP Research Committee Webinar entitled “How to write a research paper” on March 7th 2023 at 7.00 pm CEST.

ESCP Research committee members are working on a study protocol which aims to determine the clinical pharmacy research priorities of ESCP members and on a systematic review to identify the scope and quality of international clinical pharmacy practice guidelines. The Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) and ESCP deprescribing research collaboration is led by Vibhu Paudyal and Anita Weidmann on the behalf of ESCP Research Committee.

To ensure the quantity, quality and rigour of research abstracts submitted to ESCP Spring and October meetings, the fourth iteration of version 6 of the Guidelines for Successful Scientific Presentations is being adapted by the ESCP Research Committee through the efforts of Ankie Hazen, Martin Henman, Betul Okuyan, led by Anita E Weidmann. Anita Weidmann is also preparing a presentation video including key tips for authors who is planning to submit abstracts to ESCP Meetings.

Abstract review is complete for the ESCP Spring Workshop 2023 in Antwerp. Preparation of a masterclass and a workshop for 51st ESCP Symposium are underway by Committee members. Martin Henman is a chair of the Organizing Committee and Ankie Hazen and Anita Weidmann are members of the Scientific Committee of the Aberdeen ESCP Symposium 2023.

Update from the Special Interest Group (SIG) Council (by Bart Pouls)

For those who have not noticed yet: the ESCP has revived its Special Interest Group (SIG) community and currently there are three active SIGs: deprescribing, mental health and young ESCP.

Apart from the new topics, a few other things have changed. New is that SIG membership is active. Being part of a SIG means you will actively help to achieve the SIGs goals. SIGs set themselves with attainable goals every year or two in order to remain an active group. SIGs will make sure that interesting output (such as webinars or documents) will be shared with ESCP members. SIGs are now led by a steering group. The steering group consists of four to six SIG members who take responsibility for part of the SIGs activities such as communication or working towards a SIG goal.

Interested in joining on of the SIGs or starting one with fellow ESCP members? Please click here for more information.

Update from the Young ESCP SIG (by Mina Kovačevič)

YESCP welcomes young professionals, and young at heart to join us on the journey through the uncovered pathway of clinical pharmacy. We aim to connect recent graduates on a professional as well as social level through webinars, mentoring projects or social dinner @ESCP events. Join our SIG and discover what we have to offer. We are looking forward to getting to know you, and shape the future of clinical pharmacy in Europe, and worldwide together!

Update from the ESCP SIG on Deprescribing (by Betül Okuyan)

A new ESCP Special Interest Group (SIG) on Deprescribing was launched at our first and second kick-off meetings (October 20th, 2021, during the ESCP Autumn Symposium and November 30th, 2021). Panel discussion with the participation of global deprescribing experts (Barbara Farrell-Canada, Denis O’ Mahony- Ireland, Mirko Petrovic-Belgium, Stephen Byrne as a moderator) titled “Barriers and Facilitators to Achieving the Goal of Deprescribing” was held on March 28th, 2022. Workshop on deprescribing in neurological disorders was moderated by Monika Lutters at ESCP Spring Workshop- 28-29 April 2022 in Zürich, Switzerland.

During last year, three online meeting was held with ESCP SIG Deprescribing members. ESCP SIG Deprescribing Group Meeting in person was held during the ESCP Prague Symposium – 19-21 October 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic. This meeting was open to all attendees of the symposium. At SIG Hot topics session of ESCP Prague Symposium 2022- Polypharmacy and Ageing- highly-individualized, person-centered care, Stephen Byrne presented the lecture entitled “Deprescribing in Europe & other countries: current initiatives and ongoing activities.”. Our next plan is conducting a baseline survey on deprescribing initiatives in all countries in Europe, both research and practice activities.

ESCP SIG on Deprescribing was organized Global Journal Club with The Australian Deprescribing Network (ADeN), Canadian Deprescribing Network, and the US Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN). Second International Deprescribing Journal Club was hosted by ESCP. iSIMPATHY (implementing Stimulating Innovation in the Management of Polypharmacy and Adherence Through the Years) is an EU funded partnership between Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland delivering person-centred, pharmacist-led medication reviews across primary and secondary care. Pharmacist representatives from the iSIMPATHY project in each of the three countries presented the project data to date and also reflected on the implementation of iSIMPATHY in their own areas. For more details (including recording and slides of presentation) click here.

ESCP SIG Deprescribing membership is available to all ESCP members. If you are not an ESCP member yet, please become a member of ESCP to activate your membership for the ESCP SIG Deprescribing. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information you may need at

Update from the ESCP SIG on Mental Health (by Martina Hahn)

In 2023 Mental Health SIG had its first meeting. After two meetings, the SIG will start to work on a paper about the provision of pharmaceutical care in the different European countries as well as provision of pharmaceutical care in mental health.

Also, the paper look for reimbursement methods of each country. With this paper, SIG hopes to give other some foundation for their argumentation on the National level to achieve a reimbursement and provision on clinical pharmacy for people with mental health issues

Memories and challenges: 50th ESCP Symposium on “Polypharmacy and ageing – highly individualized, interprofessional, person-centred care”

The 50th ESCP Symposium “Polypharmacy and ageing” took place in congress hotel Olšanka, Prague, Czech Republic on October 19 – 21, 2022 and emphasized the important role of clinical pharmacists in the resolution of drug-therapy problems in older adults. These individuals often have multiple chronic disease conditions treated by polypharmacy. Almost 500 professionals of various background from EU and non-EU countries attended this event.

The pre-symposium event was the Masterclass on Excellence in Research oriented to “Methodologies in Deprescribing”, organized by ESCP Research Committee o led by Assoc. Prof. Cathal Cadogan and Dr. Juliette O´Connel (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland).

The official opening ceremony commenced with a welcome from the ESCP President, Prof. Derek Stewart, highlighting key initiatives of ESCP and progressing the development of clinical pharmacy education, science, and practice in Europe. Prof. Stewart applauded the work of all ESCP committees, and the recently launched Special Interest Groups on “Deprescribing”, “Mental Health” and “Young ESCP”.

Assoc. Prof. Daniela Fialová, President of the symposium emphasized major achievements of Czech clinical pharmacy, particularly establishing fully reimbursed clinical pharmacy positions in acute (2010) and ambulatory care (2020) by Czech Professional Society of Clinical Pharmacists of J.B. Purkyně. She welcomed honorable guests of the Czech Republic, particularly Deans of both Faculties of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové and Brno, representatives of the Institute for Postgraduate Education in HealthCare and State Institute for Drug Control, representatives of the Czech clinical pharmacy platforms, Czech pharmaceutical and medical societies and the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.

ESCP Fellowships were awarded to Prof. Filipa Alves da Costa (Portugal), Prof. Stephane Steubart (Belgium), and Prof. Bart van den Bemt (the Netherlands) for their outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacy education, practice and research in Europe.

Filipa Alves da Costa is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy University of Lisbon, where she leads the Pharmaceutical Care and Clinical Pharmacy Laboratory. She is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, Frontiers in Pharmacology and Pharmacy Education. She is immediate past Chair of the ESCP Education Committee and was President of the 2021 annual symposium.

Hege Salvesen Blix is Professor in Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Oslo and a pioneer of clinical pharmacy in Norway. She has been a member of ESCP for many years, most recently being a member of the General Committee and representative on the Education Committee.

Bart van den Bemt is Professor of Personalized Pharmaceutical Care at Radboud University/Radboud university medical center. He has a long history of involvement in national and international pharmacy organizations. He has had many roles at ESCP, most notably that of immediate past President.

Stephane Steurbaut is Sector Lead for research, education, and innovation at the Department of Hospital Pharmacy, UZ Brussel, Belgium and Associate Professor in Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacy, VUB, Belgium. Like Bart, he also has had many roles at ESCP, most notably that of immediate past Secretary to the General Committee.

The ESCP President thanked all four for their international leadership in clinical pharmacy, highlighting their specific impacts on ESCP.

Czech national awards were given to renowned persons supporting advances in clinical pharmacy nationally, Prof. Ludmila Kameníková, Prof. Jiří Vlček, Prof. Tomáš Šimůnek, PharmDr. Jana Gregorová, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Daniela Fialová, PharmD, Ph.D. and PharmDr. Milada Halačová, Ph.D.

The first plenary lecture of Prof. Graziano Onder (Roma, Italy) focused on increasing trends in multimorbidity in older adults, strategies to diagnose geriatric syndromes and how to prevent geriatric drug-related morbidity and polypharmacy.  Prof. Tobias Dreischult (Munich, Germany) emphasized the role of clinical pharmacists in resolution of polypharmacy and multidrug therapy problems in complex older adults, as well as the importance of the Theory of Planned Behaviour for making long-term change in prescribing and ensuring positive impact of clinical pharmacy services. Prof. Carmel Hughes (Dublin, Ireland) delivered the Steve Hudson Memorial Lecture highlighting facilitators and barriers to clinical pharmacy research and the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on complex research activities, particularly on projects in multimorbid older patients in primary care. She noted future opportunities and challenges to clinical pharmacy research in geriatric polypharmacy. Further plenary lectures highlighted the specific approaches of pharmacotherapy and care for complex older patients, impact of population ageing, new European initiatives in reducing polypharmacy burden in complex older adults (e.g., EU projects SENATOR, OPERAM, EuroAgeism-ESR7, I-CARE4OLD and the others) and other specific topics of geriatric clinical pharmacy. Main plenary lectures were accompanied by interesting workshops, oral and poster presentations, and round table discussions.

Political representatives featured throughout the program, including a round table discussion targeted at supporting reimbursement of clinical pharmacy services in different settings of care and different European countries. Representatives included Prof. Alpana Mair from Scotland (Chair of the European projects focused on polypharmacy- EU SIMPATHY and i-SIMPATHY), Prof. Mateo Cesari, Switzerland (Ageing Unit of the World Health Organization), Dr. Francois-Lery Xavier and Dr. Silvia Ravella, France (European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare of the European Council), Prof. Barbro Westerholm, Sweden (Age Platform Europe, Brussels) and Prof. Angela Kydd, UK (the EUROAGEISM H2020 project) contributed to policy talks and discussions.

Two affiliated symposia had participation of clinical pharmacists from Central and Eastern Europe (1) on establishing paid research positions of clinical pharmacists in various settings of care and (2) collaboration of clinical pharmacists and physicians in care for older adults using polypharmacy in different healthcare settings (3 and 4) Research Symposia of the EU projects I-CARE4OLD H2020 (2021-2025) and EuroAgeism ESR7 H2020 (2017-2022) (Oct 20, 2022). These symposia aimed to inspire participants in supporting development of paid clinical pharmacy positions and to stimulate European research in geriatric clinical pharmacy and deprescribing. 

We would like to thank to all members of the symposium Organizing and Scientific Committees, all plenary speakers, Masterclass and workshop moderators, active and passive participants, ESCP committee members, policy representatives, professional conference organizer C-IN, International Office, and local organizing teams from congress venue Olšanka, as well as student helpers from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Charles University in Hradec Králové for their help and excellent support of the whole organization of Prague ESCP congress! Many thanks also to all our sponsors!

Text: Assoc. Prof. Daniela Fialová, PharmD, Ph.D. and Organizing Committee of Prague 2022 ESCP congress

Photos: Rudolf Kovář, Andrea Pezzillo, Andrea Vokálová

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