World Pharmacists Day 2018
World Pharmacy Day 2018 highlights the role that pharmacists play in the health system by being medicines experts. To support pharmacists across the Commonwealth and ensure that they are experts in medicines, the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) distributes medicine information resources to countries across the Commonwealth through the highly popular ‘PharmAid’ project.
The CPA’s mission is to optimise medicines use for a healthier Commonwealth, with focusing on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Commonwealth represents one third of the world’s population and encompasses some of the world’s poorest nations. The CPA empowers pharmacists with the education and provides support to improve the care they provide their patients.
Through the CPA’s PharmAid Scheme, recent editions of medicines information resources, such as British National Formularies (BNFs) and Martindale textbooks, are donated to the CPA and collected from the UK NHS locations. These are redistributed in Commonwealth Countries to ensure that pharmacists and other health professionals can access independent and evidence-based medicines information, thus improving medicines education and use throughout the Commonwealth. To date the CPA have distributed over 200,000 books to 28 commonwealth countries.
Annually the CPA redistributes around 5,000 books and the annual cost of the scheme is approximately £10,000. Collection in the UK is done in the spring and there are considerable costs involved in packing and shipping the books. The next collection scheduled for early spring 2019.
The CPA has been running this scheme since the 1980s, and it continues to be extremely popular with Commonwealth pharmacists. In a recent survey, 78% of recipients stated that the resources provided from the UK through PharmAid are very influential, and that their practice would not be the same without it. Three in four recipients told us that they used the resources given to them at least two to three times a week, including using to look up medication dosing in children, safety in pregnancy and lactation, and management of interactions and side effects. This highlights the influence that information resources can have, and ultimately they enable pharmacists to improve their treatment of patients, leading to better health outcomes in under-served, low resource settings.
This vital project cannot continue with your support.