Thursday, December 29, 2005

Self-Prescribing of Noncontrolled Substances Among Pharmacists

Pharmacists are among the health care practitioners with the greatest access to medications. Similarly, they possess impressive knowledge of prescription drugs and their use in the treatment of various ailments. Both general drug knowledge and access to prescription medications may increase the potential for self-prescribing. Other factors that may promote self-prescribing among pharmacists include long workdays and the privacy inherent in pharmacists' work environments.

Few studies have investigated self-prescribing by pharmacists. The most recent studies were conducted in the late 1980s and found that pharmacists are likely to self-prescribe or be involved in the unauthorized use of controlled substances. Little attention has been dedicated to pharmacists' self-prescribing of noncontrolled substances such as antibiotics and asthma and cardiovascular medications.

Self-prescribing of noncontrolled substances by pharmacists is worth examination. Although addiction is not a concern with these medications, the behavior may progress into self-prescribing of controlled substances, leading to addiction and impaired functioning. Furthermore, self-prescribing among pharmacists is unprofessional and may be associated with unlawful behaviors, which may ultimately undermine the profession and pose a threat to the overall health and well-being of those involved.


From American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (
Self-Prescribing of Noncontrolled Substances Among Pharmacists
Posted 12/16/2005
Ebrahim A. Balbisi; Emily M. Ambizas
Ebrahim A. Balbisi, Pharm.D., and Emily M. Ambizas, Pharm.D., are Assistant Clinical Professors of Clinical Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, St. John's University, Jamaica, NY.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas!

We wish you Merry Christmas ...

and all the happiness you could wish for..!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Thousands of tablets stolen in hospital armed robbery

A stash of 43,000 tablets have been stolen during an armed robbery at St. Brendan's psychiatric hospital in Dublin.

This morning, two men armed with a handgun broke into the hospital and held up two members of staff ordering another to open the hospital pharmacy.

They fled on foot with 30,000 Diazopan tablets, 11 thousand Zopitan tablets, 1,000 Zoton and hundreds of Zispan tablets.

Both of the raiders were over 6 feet tall, one wearing a dark tracksuit and a black jacket, and the other wearing dark trousers and a cream jacket.

Detectives at Bridewell garda station are investigating the incident.

(Source: Ireland on-line, 15/12/2005 - 18:23:46

Thursday, December 08, 2005

New Human H5N1 Outbreak

The Chinese authorities confirmed that a 10-year-old girl had been infected by the bird flu. As Xinhua news agency reported, the authorities are puzzled over how the girl was infected, since no outbreaks of the virus have been detected in the Guangxi province, in southern China.

Experts of the Health Ministry have arrived in the area, in order to conclude how the virus was spread, and to coordinate efforts on controlling a possible pandemic. The girl presented high fever and pneumonia symptoms on November 23, and since then has been hospitalised under medical observation, together with any persons who came in contact with her. In the meantime, the sanitation authority in Vietnam, where H5N1 has cost the lives of 42 persons, has banned the sale of antiviral drug Tamiflu. The cause was the excessive use of the drug by citizens presenting symptoms of ordinary flu, as fact that will make the drug ineffective. The scientists stated that the excessive use of the drug can lead to the transformation of the virus into a new more resistible type. As the Health Ministry announced, it will only send necessary quantities to hospitals for the hospitalisation of patients infected by the bird flu.

The H5N1 flu has infected 134 persons in Asia, since the end of 2003, and has cost the lives of more than 70. Vietnam has recorded 93 human outbreaks, 42 of which fatal.


07 Dec 2005 07:33:00 By Dimitris Alexopoulos, Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Abstract Submission Open for ESCP 6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

We received this email from the ESCP International Office.

6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy

Join clinical pharmacists from all over Europe (including the new EU countries) to deepen the theme of the ESCP's 6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy:

Chronic Disease Management: The Role of the Pharmacist

25-27 May 2006, Vilnius, Lithuania

Interact and share knowledge with your peers during 3 days of plenary sessions, round-table discussions, workshops and afternoon plenary lectures on:

  • The Role of the Pharmacist in the Management of Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Current Chronic Diseases Management Concepts

  • The Role of the Pharmacist in the Management of Chronic Infectious Diseases

A number of critical issues will be developed and discussed. For example, what is the current concept for chronic disease management? Will pharmacists play an active role in the management of chronic cardiovascular diseases or chronic pain in oncology? What rational pharmacotherapy evaluation systems are available and what is the strategy for pharmacotherapeutic-based treatments? How can the pharmacist’s clinical competence be developed? What are today’s practices/experiences in the evaluation (assurance) of rationality in pharmacotherapy? Are there legal differences governing the clinical activity of pharmacists in the EU and other European countries?

Abstract Submission

Do you have findings and expertise to share with your peers? Submit an abstract for consideration within the Poster Discussion Forum, Oral Communications or Poster Sessions.

Abstracts must be submitted on-line by 30 January 2006.

For detailed information about the scientific programme, abstract submission and registration process, please visit the ESCP 6th Spring Conference on Clinical Pharmacy website.

We look forward to receiving your abstract before 30 January 2006. Please also feel free to invite a colleague to share his/her expertise by forwarding this e-mail.

Yours sincerely

Eduardas Tarasevicius
President of the Conference

Romaldas Maciulaitis
Chair of the Scientific Committee

For more information on abstract submission process please contact:

Eralda Azizaj
Progamme Co-ordinator
ESCP International Office
Avenue de Tervueren 300
B-1150 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: 32-2-743 1542

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New deadline (1st March 2006 ) for the EAHP survey

The EAHP (European Association of Hospital Pharmacists) board decided to give hospital pharmacy directors several months more to fill in the questionnaire, and extend the deadline up to the:

1st March 2006.

The results will be presented during the 2006 GA in Bratislava.

For more details please contact your country delegates.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

UK doctors protest at extension to nurses' and pharmacists' prescribing powers

BMJ 2005;331:1159 (19 November), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7526.1159
Michael Day (

According to this article Doctors' leaders have condemned the UK government's decision to give nurses and pharmacists virtually unlimited prescribing powers.

James Johnson, the BMA's chairman, has called for an urgent meeting with the secretary of state for health, Patricia Hewitt, to discuss the proposals, which took the BMA by surprise when they were announced last week. "It is difficult to see how healthcare professionals who are not trained to diagnose disease can safely prescribe appropriate treatment," he said.

Mrs Hewitt told the chief nursing officers' annual conference in London last week that from spring 2006 qualified "extended formulary nurse prescribers" and "independent pharmacist prescribers" would be able to prescribe any licensed drug for any medical condition, with the exception of controlled drugs, such as diamorphine.

There are now over 6,100 extended formulary nurse prescribers who are qualified to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribers' Extended Formulary, which was introduced in April 2002 and which contains around 240 prescription only medicines. The "independent pharmacist prescriber" will be a new position.

For the full article or for more info you can follow the links:
BMJ 2005;331:1159 (19 November), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7526.1159

BMJ 2005;331:1154-1155 (19 November), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7526.1154
Editorial: Extended prescribing by UK nurses and pharmacists

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Antibiotic-free hospitals

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The growing problem of drug-resistant staph infections in hospitals needs a fresh approach -- including antibiotic-free hospitals and perhaps a dose of "good" bacteria on surgeons' hands, one researcher argues.

Writing in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Dr. Mark Spigelman lays out a proposal for combating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This so-called "superbug" is untreatable with most antibiotics and can cause potentially deadly complications like pneumonia, bloodstream infections and surgical wound infections.

Though MRSA outbreaks have been turning up in the general population in recent years, hospitals and nursing homes remain the bug's prime breeding ground, with patients with weakened immune systems being most vulnerable.

Given this, it's time to take another look at why MRSA thrives in such antiseptic places, according to Spigelman, of the University College London.

The question to be asked, he told Reuters Health, is why MRSA infections are widespread only in hospitals.

The answer, according to Spigelman, may be found in the very practices that hospitals use to combat bacterial infection: hand scrubbing and antibiotics.

It's known that overuse and improper use of antibiotics are the main reasons that staph and other bacteria have developed resistance to the many of the drugs; when disease-causing bacteria are exposed to, but not killed by, antibiotics, they can mutate in ways that render the drugs ineffective. And while other bacteria, good and bad, are killed off by antibiotics, resistant strains are free to thrive.

Designating certain surgical hospitals as "antibiotic-free" would cut patients' risk of developing MRSA after an operation, Spigelman argues. Patients who do develop a wound infection would have to be transferred to a hospital where antibiotics are used.

In addition, surgeons and staff working in antibiotic-free centers could not enter antibiotic-using hospitals, in order to prevent them from picking up MRSA.

The other part of Spigelman's proposal focuses on how surgeons' hands, and even patients' wounds, are cleaned. Similar to what happens with antibiotics, washing away the many harmless or "good" bacteria on the skin may "allow room" for MRSA and other resistant bugs to settle, Spigelman points out.

That doesn't mean it's time to scrap hand-washing, he said. Instead, he argues, studies could look into the usefulness of solutions containing beneficial bacteria, called probiotics. These bugs include the bacteria used in fermented foods like yogurt.
Bacteria, Spigelman points out, generally don't lie down on top of each other, but settle in isolated colonies. So slathering a probiotic solution on clean skin could set up a healthy population of good bacteria that would crowd out any harmful bugs that would have taken residence.

Whether surgeons will start dipping their hands in yogurt remains to be seen. But, Spigelman notes in his article, dental researchers are already looking into whether probiotics can save people's teeth by displacing the bacteria that cause cavities.

SOURCE: Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, November 2005.
By Amy Norton, © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 31, 2005

First seminar of the EAHP Foundation

The invitation to the Foundation Seminar only concerns the hospital pharmacists of the new EU countries.

This seminar is about compounding of cytotoxic drugs, preparation under aseptic conditions, safe handling and aspects of patiant safety e.g. extravasation.

The seminar is organized in cooperation with the Hungarian Society of Hospital Pharmacists and will be held in Budapest from February 23rd to 24th. The EAHP Foundation will cover the expensis of hotel and accomodation for two nights and the costs of the seminar. Travel expenses have to be covered by the participant or the local organisation.

The official language of the seminar is English.

Preliminary Programm

February 23rd 2005, 2pm -6pm

Welcome :Jaqueline Surugue, President of EAHP
  • Effects and side effects of cytotoxic drugs
  • Safe handling of cytotoxic drugs (preparation, application, waste disposal, spilling)
  • Personal protective equipment (workbenches, protective clothing)

February 24th 2005, 9am- 1pm
  • Equipment for production (e.g. adapters, closed systems,…)
  • Validation of aseptic technique
  • Stability of cytotoxic drugs

February 24th 2005, 2apm- 6pm
  • Biomonitoring
  • Monitoring of the environment – where’s the contamination?
  • Extravasation

For more information please contact your country delegates to EAHP

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Suspected Cases of the avian flu in European countries

As it was made known by the British Ministry of Agriculture, a quarantined parrot, which died in the United Kingdom, suffered from the avian flu. The parrot had been imported by South America, and up to now, the Ministry’s announcement has not explained which flu virus caused the parrot’s death. It simply stated that only the H5 strain was recognised.
"This confirmed avian flu case does not cause concern in the UK, as the parrot was under quarantine and imported,"
stated a veterinary adviser of the Ministry.

Furthermore, six wild swans died by the virus as well, as announced by the Croatian Ministry of Health.
"Six swans were found dead in a lake in eastern Croatia. We have sent samples to the United Kingdom for further testing,"
stated a spokesperson for the government. A government announcement issued by Prime Minister Ivo Sanader stated:
"We are taking the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. We do not think that there is any danger for humans."

Cases of the avian flu have been reported in Romania and Turkey.

One case from Greece and another in FYROM are still being investigated, in order to conclude which virus is responsible for the birds’ death.

In Romania and Turkey the virus strain of H5N1, which can cause a human pandemic, has been reconfirmed in wild birds and poultry.


Monday, October 17, 2005

The first suspected case of the avian flu in Greece

The first suspected case of the avian flu in Greece was detected in a turkey on the island of Oinousses.

The owner of a small poultry unit notified the Veterinary Directorate of the Prefecture of Chios about the presence of the suspected cases in his unit. The authorities immediately took samples and sent them the Athens Veterinary Institutes.

As per the lab tests, one of the nine samples was tested positive to antibodies of the H5 virus, but not to the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian flu. The samples were sent to a special veterinary centre in Thessaloniki to be further tested.

The Ministry of Rural Development released an emergency circular ordering the Chios Veterinary Directorate to implement the Emergency Action Plan.

(Source: ERT online,

Friday, October 14, 2005

Possible Pandemic Ahead

Suspicions have been confirmed. The bird flu virus found in Turkey is the H5N1 strain, which has killed some 60 people in Asia since late 2003, announced the EU Commissioner for health and consumer protection Markos Kyprianou at noon.

Mr Kyprianou urged the European countries to be on alert for possible bird flu pandemic and to stockpile antivirals. With regard to Romania, he argued that the European Commission is not yet certain whether the cases reported were due to the pathogenic strain of the virus, however, the Commission is working on the premise that this is the case until the final results from the lab tests come out.

Imports of live birds and poultry products from Turkey have already been banned, while a similar embargo is to be imposed on Romania. However, the first results from showed that the samples were tested negative to the virus. InRomania Greece, alarm sounded on Thursday morning at the Piraeus port, when four migratory birds, one dead, were located on a Portuguese registered ship, coming from Egypt. The alarm proved false later, since according to the lab tests the birds had died of exhaustion.

In the meantime, after meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos at Maximos Mansion on Thursday, Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis announced the government is willing to ask for a meeting held in late November between the Balkan and Black Sea countries, aiming at drawing up a joint plan to combat the avian influenza virus.

(Sources: NET Radio 105.8, French Press Agency,

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cases of Avian (Bird) Flu in Romania

It seems that we are in the beginning of a very serious problem for all Europe. In the web page of ERT ( is published an article of Mrs Athina Saloystroy; according to that:

Romania reported its first case of avian flu on Friday, but said it had not yet established whether the virus found in domestic birds in the Danube delta was harmful to humans. "We discovered today three cases of domestic birds which were tested positive for the avian flu in the village of Ceamurlia de Jos in the Danube delta. There were three ducks in the yard of a peasant family," Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur told reporters. Flutur said tests would be carried out to determine whether the flu was the deadly H5N1 strain or a less dangerous one. "We will send the samples to Great Britain for a thorough analysis," he said.

The Romanian minister also said he had imposed quarantine for three kilometres around the site and all domestic birds would be culled to prevent the disease from spreading in the environmentally sensitive delta.

Flutur also added that hunting was banned across the delta and that health authorities had dispatched medical teams to start testing for possible human cases in the area, just a few km from the Black Sea.

The Danube delta is Europe’s largest wetlands and a major migratory area for wild birds coming from Russia, Scandinavia, Poland and Germany.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Avian flu is dangerous

I tried to find information concerning the Avian flu. It’s an ocean of articles out there (Google: 2.950.000 articles). Finally I decided that there are some papers from where we can extract all the information we need.

The articles are:

Q&A: Avian flu
The growing number of cases of avian influenza, or bird flu, in Asian countries is causing increasing concern. But what is the disease and what are the possible risks to humans?

WHO plans bird flu drug stockpile

World Health Organisation officials are in talks about building up a stockpile of drugs for poorer countries to fight a possible bird flu pandemic.
Tamiflu, made by Swiss firm Roche, works by reducing the symptoms and the risk of a carrier passing on the virus.

Also, there is an announcement made by ROCHE (Basel, 29 January 2004 ) with details for TAMIFLU. Roche's oral flu drug Tamiflu could be effective in treating avian influenza.

Roche confirms that Tamiflu (oseltamivir) could be effective in treating the recent outbreak of the avian influenza in the Far East. Tamiflu was tested in a pre-clinical setting against a wide range of influenza virus strains. Despite the lack of clinical data, the findings provide reassurance that Tamiflu can be expected to be active against any influenza virus neuraminidase enzyme subtype, including the H5N1 strain. This strain is associated with the recent outbreak of avian influenza in Asia.

The WHO in its interim recommendations for the protection of persons in contact with animals potentially infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, advises that ‘oseltamivir be readily available for the treatment of suspected H5N1 respiratory infections in cullers and farm workers involved in the mass culling’*.

The whole announcement is here:

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Where is the extra NHS money going?

About half of the new money went on staff, the NHS' single biggest cost.

A fifth - £1.4bn - went on employing new staff, which was one of the two key objectives of the 2000 10-year NHS Plan.

This money has helped pay for a sustained increase in nurses (67,880 more since 1999), consultants (7,330 more) and GPs (3,060 more).

But a larger proportion, nearly 30%, went on paying staff more. Since the NHS Plan in 2000, new contracts have been agreed for consultants, GPs and non-clinical staff such as cleaners and porters.

Please note that we are talking about the N.H.S. the National Health System of the United Kingdom. So, make now your comparisons!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

ESCP upcoming conferences and congresses

The Fall 2005 Annual Symposium will take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 26-29 October 2005.

Spring 2006 Conference will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania on 24-27 May 2006.

In the Fall of 2006, the 35th ESCP Symposium on Clinical Pharmacy will be held in Vienna, Austria on 18-21 October 2006.

In the Spring of 2007 the Conference will be held in the United Kingdom or Greece.

Further information is available at:

(source: ESCP News, the bi-monthly newsletter of the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy, September 2005, No 126)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Medication Errors: Hospital Pharmacist Perspective

We found a very interesting article concerning the medication errors in the website of the Hospital Pharmacists Association of the Netherlands (Nederlandse Vereniging van Ziekenhuisapothekers (NVZA) (

This article critically examines possible interventions aimed at reducing medication errors and the role of the pharmacist in these interventions.

Topics covered include:

* Adverse Drug Events (ADEs),
* Risk Assessment in Clinical Pharmacy,
* The Drug Distribution Chain (Medical Diagnosis, Drug Choice, Precribing, Dispensing, Preparation, Barcode-Enabled Point of Care Systems) and
* The role of the clinical pharmacist

Here is the abstract:

Drugs 2005; 65 (13): 1735-1746
2005 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.

Medication Errors
Hospital Pharmacist Perspective

Henk-Jan Guchelaar,1 Hadewig B.B. Colen,2 Mathijs D. Kalmeijer,3
Patrick T.W. Hudson4 and Irene M. Teepe-Twiss1

1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Toxicology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Medical Spectrum Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
3 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4 Department of Psychology, Center for Safety Science, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands


In recent years medication error has justly received considerable attention, as it causes substantial mortality, morbidity and additional healthcare costs. Risk
assessment models, adapted from commercial aviation and the oil and gas industries, are currently being developed for use in clinical pharmacy.
The hospital pharmacist is best placed to oversee the quality of the entire drug
distribution chain, from prescribing, drug choice, dispensing and preparation to
the administration of drugs, and can fulfil a vital role in improving medication
safety. Most elements of the drug distribution chain can be optimised; however,
because comparative intervention studies are scarce, there is little scientific
evidence available demonstrating improvements in medication safety through
such interventions.
Possible interventions aimed at reducing medication errors, such as developing
methods for detection of patients with increased risk of adverse drug events,
performing risk assessment in clinical pharmacy and optimising the drug distribution chain are discussed. Moreover, the specific role of the clinical pharmacist in improving medication safety is highlighted, both at an organisational level and in individual patient care.

You can download the whole article from the address:

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Medicines free of charge to low pension earners in Greece

The article has been published in the website of the Greek Radiotelevision ( According to this article:
The Health Ministry is examining the possibility of granting medicines free of charge to low pension earners and people suffering from chronic ailments. Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis submitted to the Central Council of Health letters sent by people who cannot afford to pay for their medicines, so they can be examined. Therefore, according to a regulation that is being reviewed by the Council, people with chronic ailments and low pension earners may not have to contribute any money towards paying for their medicines.

Thousands of letters have been sent to the Health Minister's office by low pension earners who cannot afford to pay for their medicines.

Nikitas Kaklamanis then passed the letters on to the Central Council of Health, asking for them to implement a regulation exempting them from any costs.
As per the new regulation, EKAS pensioners will receive all their medicines free of charge, as opposed to having to pay 10% towards the recommended price.
In addition, the Council decided to grant medicines with zero contribution to workers and pensioners suffering from chronic ailments.

According to sources, drugs for diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer's, leukemia and other rare ailments will be free of charge.

In many cases, patients suffering from the abovementioned diseases had to contribute up to 1,000 euros monthly for their medicines.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hospital pharmacists commended for their effective response to terror attack in London

The following article has been published in the "The Pharmaceutical Journal", Vol 275, No 7358 p71, 16 July 2005 ( We thing that it's of a great interest, so we copy it here in ehpb.

"Hospital pharmacists have been praised for the way in which they responded to last week’s terrorist attack in London.

John Farrell, head of pharmacy at the Royal Free Hospital, said that the pharmacy departments at the Royal Free, Whittington and University College hospitals had been commended in a post-disaster review for their responsiveness in supplying medicines needed to discharge patients to make beds available for victims of the explosions.

Pharmacy really did deliver,” Mr Farrell said. “We were planning for up to 500 victims at the Royal Free Hospital.”

Mr Farrell also praised the response of AAH and Travenol, who provided additional emergency supplies. IV fluids were flown by helicopter to Epping Forest and then delivered to hospitals under police escort.

As a result of lessons learnt from the emergency, stocks of ketamine and hepatitis B and tetanus vaccines are to be increased.

Victims of the three explosions on underground trains and another on a bus were taken to the Royal London, University College, Royal Free, Whittington and St Mary’s hospitals, with The Royal London Hospital receiving the largest number.

Charles Tugwell, principal pharmacist responsible for co-ordinating the pharmacy response at The Royal London Hospital, said: “Staff in the pharmacy department worked as an excellent team throughout the day during which well over 200 casualties were treated.”

The immediate response was to make sure that a full clinical pharmacy service was provided to the A&E department. Within 20 minutes, many staff were on the wards helping to clear beds by decanting or discharging patients, Mr Tugwell said.

Staff remaining in the pharmacy department arranged emergency supplies of drugs, while others made sure that the needs of operating theatres, the intensive therapy unit, and other emergency areas, as well as the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, were predicted and responded to."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hospital Pharmacy Europe now on line!

Hospital Pharmacy Europe, the journal from Campden Publishing ( is now available as an online magazine (

Hospital Pharmacy Europe delivers a wide range of up-to-date information critical to the practice of today's pharmacists and prescribing clinicians.Hospital Pharmacy Europe is specifically designed to deliver a wide range of up-to-the-minute information critical to the practice of today’s hospital pharmacist …
• Bulletin – Coverage of the latest news and research, including in-depth news reviews and comment from opinion-leaders
• Regulars – Including conference reports and book reviews. Each issue contains topical articles written by leading hospital pharmacists and clinicians from across Europe ...
• Clinical reviews – Examining trends in disease management and innovations in drug therapy that are likely to have a significant impact on hospital pharmacy practice.
• Policy & practice – Developments in European healthcare policy and changes to hospital pharmacy practice.
• Technology update – Automation and information technology play an increasingly important part in the hospital setting. Hospital Pharmacy Europe provides information on the key advances.

Clinical Pharmacy Europe. Coming October 2005

A new journal is going to be published from the Campden Publishing (

The editor comments that:
Clinical Pharmacy Europe will be the first journal to address the ever expanding responsibility of today’s European Clinical Pharmacist.
Clinical Pharmacy Europe will promote and expertly comment on the safe and effective use of medicines in all clinical settings.
Clinical Pharmacy Europe editorial content will cover:
• Clinical reviews – key clinical topics, innovations in clinical pharmacy services, and critical medicines safety issues. All articles include value-added ‘extras’ such as useful contacts, related websites and links, and recommended literature and other resources.
• Cost benefit analysis – In-depth examinations of drugs efficacy against relative costs
• Short papers and reports – a platform for clinical pharmacists to communicate at an international level and to share ideas and experiences through well-structured reports.
• ‘Europe wide’ – A cutting edge dissection of clinical pharmacy practice across European countries
• Key news stories – Extensive coverage of the issues of the day, including a round-up of the latest research and in-depth news features on hot topics with comment from key opinion leaders.
• Book reviews - comment from experts on new publications.
• Plus … opinion-leading editorial comment, regular and guest columnists, reviews of new resources, and details of international courses and events

Friday, August 19, 2005

Future congresses

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
FIP 65th Annual Congress
2 - 8 September 2005
Cairo, Egypt

European Society of Clinical Pharmacy
34th European Symposium on Clinical Pharmacy
26-29 October 2005
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
ISPOR 8th Annual European Congress
6-8 November 2005,
Palazzo Degli Affari, Florence, Italy

European Association of Hospital Pharmacists
11th Congress of the EAHP
22 - 24 March 2006
Palexpo Congress Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The new issue of EJHP is ready!

The new issue (Year 2005 Issue 4) of the EJHP -European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy- is ready as you can see in the website of EAHP - European Association of Hospital Pharmacists- (

In the contents you can find the "Cover story" "New drug developments in haemato-oncology"

In this issue the "Country focus" is dedicated to Greece:)

Also, the EJHP SCIENCE JOURNAL is ready (Year 2005 Issue 3) in the address:

It's a great issue!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Where are the codes?

I have a problem. Any time I try to find the ATC code of a drug, I have to search the Google adding the active substance of the medication and the word ATC to find it. A colleague of mine told me that if I want the complete list from WHO I have to pay to buy it!!!

I found the following addresses in order to answer my question: "where are the codes?"

In this address there are more files, like the:

ICD-10-GM (SGB-V-Adaption) Version 2005
OPS Version 2005
ICD-10-WHO Version 2005
ATC/DDD Version 2005
UMDNS/GMDN Version 1.1 Version 1.0
ICF final draft 2004

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

BlogCatalog - Submission Approved

European Hospital Pharmacy Blog was successfully added to the directory

So, everyone can now reach our blog from this powerful engine:)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Antibiotic resistance rises in European regions

There is an article in the “The Pharmaceutical Journal”, Vol 274, No 7337, p199, 19 February 2005,

concerning the antibiotic resistance in Europe. As we can read in this article, antibiotic resistance is less common in northern Europe than it is in southern or eastern Europe, probably because antibiotics are used less widely in the north.

So suggests new research from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption*ESAC2

In this website there is also an interactive database*ESAC2&n=22182
from where we can extract the data for the various European countries, like the following figure.

Researchers compared the extent of antibiotic prescribing in primary care in 26 European countries by calculating the defined daily dose (DDD) of antibiotic per inhabitant. This was compared with levels of antibiotic resistance in each country.

Another article comes from the “drugresearcher

with the title “Antibiotic resistance rises in European regions”

In this article the author stated that “High rates of antibiotic resistance in South and East Europe are higher than in northern Europe because the regions have high rates of antibiotic use, according to a study published in this week’s issue of The Lancet”.

This article came also from the ESAC (European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption)
Antibiotic use was compared with antibiotic resistance rates in 26 European countries from the beginning of 1997 to the end of 2002. To control for the different population sizes the investigators expressed data in defined daily dose per 1000 inhabitants daily (DID).

The study found that prescription rates in Europe varied greatly with France having the highest rate (32.2 DID) and Netherlands having the lowest (10.0 DID). Across Europe antibiotic use was lower in northern, moderate in eastern and higher in southern regions.

The role of the Hospital Pharmacists in this area is obvious!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Country Focus from the EJHP - European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy

My favourite journal is the EJHP - European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy

This journal is published by the EAHP -European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (

In each issue there is a special article/s under the name “Country Focus” and these are the articles I read first of all. Many times I have to remember what is happening in various European countries in a specific area of Hospital Pharmacy and I have to find the corresponding issue of the journal. So, I decided to gather all the links from the journal, concerning my favourite articles from the “Country Focus” and now I can read my article directly from the website of the journal.

And here they are, the links for the following countries (according the date of their appearance in the "country focus" section of the EJHP:



Country Focus France
Year: 2002; Nr: 1; Category: Others;

Country Focus France
Year: 2002; Nr: 1; Category: Others;


Country Focus Norway
Year: 2002; Nr: 2; Category: Others;


SIFO, the Italian national association representing the interests of hospital pharmacy and pharmaceutical services
Year: 2003; Nr: 1; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

The Italian health system: origins and perspectives
Year: 2003; Nr: 1; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

Caught between regionalisation and cost containment Where do the cost/effectiveness boundaries lie for the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale?
Year: 2003; Nr: 1; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

European Association of Hospital Pharmacists Annual Congress 2003, 26 – 28 February, Florence, Italy
Year: 2003; Nr: 1; Category: Others; Author: Arnold G. Vulto;

Florence, a city of history and elegance
Year: 2003; Nr: 1; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;


Hungarian country focus
Year: 2003; Nr: 2; Category: Others; Author: Thomas Friedrich;


The Dutch approach to medication safety
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others; Author: Judith Hague;

The Netherlands Hospital Pharmacy - an introduction
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others; Author: Judith Hague;

Bridging the gap between back-office skills and patient-oriented pharmacy: practice and tradition of Dutch hospital pharmacy
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others; Author: Mathieu M. Tjoeng, Robert J. Moss;

The medicines policy in the Netherlands
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others;

Pharmaceutical care in Dutch hospitals
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others; Author: L.A. van den Bemt;

The hospital pharmacist and immunotherapeutic clinical trials
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others; Author: A.R. Wafelman;

Hospital pharmacists recognised by the authorities as specialists
Year: 2003; Nr: 3; Category: Others; Author: Eric W. Ackerman;


Emphasis on Personal Responsibility / The Swiss Health System
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Christiane von Ludwig;

The GSASA / Professional Association of Swiss Public Health Administration and Hospital Pharmacists
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Dr.Enea Martinelli;

The Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industry
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad & Judith Hague;

Swissmedic: the Swiss Institute of Therapeutic Products
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

Interview with Dr Klaus-Jorg Dogwiler, Director of Swissmedic
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

The pharmaceutical market within Switzerland
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

The Swiss medicines pricing policy
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Samy Bouayad;

Relations between the European Union and Switzerland in the pharmaceutical area
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: Helicia Herman;

A Working Day in Hospital
Year: 2003; Nr: 4; Category: Others; Author: J.-Ph.Reymond;


User Fees for Health Care in Sweden A two-tier threat or a tool for solidarity?
Year: 2003; Nr: 5; Category: Others; Author: Johan Hjertqvist;

Hospital pharmacy in Sweden
Year: 2003; Nr: 5; Category: Others; Author: Astrid Forsstrom, Birgitta Seiving;

Sweden - healthcare in transition
Year: 2003; Nr: 5; Category: Others; Author: Astrid Forsstrom,Birgitta Seiving;

The Swedish Society for Hospital Pharmacy
Year: 2003; Nr: 5; Category: Others; Author: Astrid Forsstrom, Birgitta Seiving;

Changing attitudes to generic drugs
Year: 2003; Nr: 5; Category: Others; Author: Judith Hague;


Detecting medication errors in order To protect patients
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Dr.Torsten Hoppe-Tichy;

Changes imminent in health Insurance sector
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Edgar J. Schmitt;

Adka e.v. – german association of Hospital pharmacists Insurance sector
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Dr. Irene Kramer;

The hospital pharmacy: providing Services on behalf of patients
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Dr. Irene Kramer;

New financing system for German hospitals
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Dr.Wolfgang Kammerer;

Studying pharmacy in Germany
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Prof. Roland Ratziwill;

Consultation and integration: the daily routine of a chief pharmacist
Year: 2003; Nr: 6; Category: Others; Author: Dr. H. P. Lipp;


Association of Spanish Hospital Pharmacists (SEFH) (
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 73; Author: Dr Placido J. Moreno;

The Spanish health system
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 74 -75; Author: Samy Bouayad;

The Educational System for Hospital Pharmacists in Spain
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 76 -77; Author: Francisco Sierra Garcia, Hospital Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain;

A day in a Spanish hospital pharmacy
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 78; Author: Jose Javier Marquez Nieves, Farmaceutico de Hospital, Servicio de Farmacia, Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain;

The benefits of automated dispensing in hospital pharmacy
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Cover story; Page: 22 -23; Author: Keith Farrar, Director of Pharmacy, Wirral Hospital NHS Trust, Ann Slee, Chief Pharmacist, Glan Clwyd Hospital;

Bar-coding in action in the hospital pharmacy - a report
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Cover story; Page: 24 -26; Author: Dr. Werner Kittlaus, Director of the Central Pharmacy of the District Hospitals of Munich and Monika Kaniuth, Pharmacist in Training;

Automated drug distribution system: the Cromwell Hospital experience
Year: 2004; Nr: 1; Category: Cover story; Page: 27; Author: Dr. Henry McCullagh, BSc(Pharm), MRPharmS, Chief Pharmacist, Cromwell Hospital;


Recent changes in the Slovenian health care system
Year: 2004; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 52; Author: Mladen Markota;

Slovenian Association of Hospital Pharmacy
Year: 2004; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 53; Author: Tajda Miharija Gala;

New responsibilities, new challenges for hospital pharmacists
Year: 2004; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 54 -55; Author: Tajda Miharija Gala;

Faculty of pharmacy, Ljubljana: study programmes
Year: 2004; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 56; Author: Dr. Mirjana Gasperlin;

Development of radiopharmacy practise + Individualised preparation of analgesics
Year: 2004; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 57; Author: Tanja Gmeiner Stopar + Monica Sonc;


Hospital Pharmacy Practice in Denmark
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 57 -59; Author: Anne H. Kahns and Gitte Nielsen;

The Danish Society of Hospital Pharmacy Managers
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 60; Author: Connie Sorensen;

The Medicines Agency of Danish Regions - manufacturing medicinal products at hospital pharmacies
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 61; Author: Lilly Krogsgaard, M.Sc.Pharm. Assistant Director, Registration Manager, the Medicines Agency of the Danish Regions, Denmark.;

Patient safety in Denmark: A healthcare system that is learning
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 62; Author: Linda Jeffery;

Cross sector recommendation lists promoting rational pharmacotherapy
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 63; Author: Nina Egtved Knudsen;

Electronic prescribing in hospitals: the role and responsibility of hospital pharmacists
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 64; Author: Inger Bjeldbak-Olesen;

Automatic drug dispensing in Aarhus County - Planning and preparations
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 66 -67; Author: Karen Marie Ostergaard;

Rational pharmacotherapy in daily clinical practice + Continuing education and career development in oncology pharmacy in Denmark
Year: 2004; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 68 -70; Author: Anne Kahns and Dorte Kromann + Hilde Omestad;


Country Focus Belgium (complete). Year: 2004; Nr: 4; Category: Country focus; Page: 45 -56;


The Austrian Health Care System
Year: 2004; Nr: 5; Category: Country focus; Page: 51 -52; Author: Elfriede Dolinar Mag. Pharm.;

Hospital Pharmacy in Austria
Year: 2004; Nr: 5; Category: Country focus; Page: 53; Author: Thomas Langebner;

The Austrian Association of Hospital Pharmacists
Year: 2004; Nr: 5; Category: Country focus; Page: 54; Author: Thomas Langebner;

Year: 2004; Nr: 5; Category: Country focus; Page: 56; Author: Dr. Markus Mitterhauser;

Postgraduate Specialisation
Year: 2004; Nr: 5; Category: Country focus; Page: 57; Author: Thomas Langebner;


The United Kingdom and the ‘National Health Service’
Year: 2004; Nr: 6; Category: Country focus; Page: 121; Author: Tony West;

The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
Year: 2004; Nr: 6; Category: Country focus; Page: 122; Author: Tony West;

Pharmacy in a devolved United Kingdom
Year: 2004; Nr: 6; Category: Country focus; Page: 123 -124; Author: Vilma Gilis;

NHS Direct: A fast moving service
Year: 2004; Nr: 6; Category: Country focus; Page: 125 -126; Author: Anne Joshua;

Purchasing safer medicines for the NHS – risk management in pharmaceutical procurement
Year: 2004; Nr: 6; Category: Country focus; Page: 127; Author: Andrew C Alldred;


Hospital pharmacy in Slovakia
Year: 2005; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 35 -36; Author: Juraj Sykora, PharmD., PhD;

The health care system in Slovakia
Year: 2005; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 35; Author: Pharm.Dr. Juraj Sykora, PhD and Mgr. Roman Maas;

Education and training of pharmacists in Slovakia
Year: 2005; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 36; Author: Silvia Szucsova, PhD,Associate Professor;

Expenditure on drugs and (diagnostic) medical devices in hospitals in Slovakia
Year: 2005; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 37; Author: Pharm.Dr. Juraj Sykora;

Cancer care and the extent of use of antineoplastic agents
Year: 2005; Nr: 1; Category: Country focus; Page: 38 -39; Author: Mgr. Roman Maas and Juraj Sykora, PharmD, PhDr


The Portuguese health system
Year: 2005; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 31; Author: Aida Batista;

Hospital pharmacy in Portugal
Year: 2005; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 32 -33; Author: Hospital pharmacy in Portugal;

The Portuguese Association of Hospital Pharmacists
Year: 2005; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 34; Author: Jorge Brochado ;

5th Congress of the Portuguese Association of Hospital Pharmacists
Year: 2005; Nr: 2; Category: Country focus; Page: 36; Author: Antonio Melo Gouveia, PhD;


Medicines in healthcare in Finland
Year: 2005; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 47 -48; Author: Harri Ovaskainen, Marja Airaksinen and Ulla Narhi;

Hospital pharmacy in Finland
Year: 2005; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 49 -50; Author: Marisa Eronen, Jaana Lehtomaki and Merja Nylander;

Progress in medicines information services
Year: 2005; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 52 -53; Author: Raimo Ojala, M.Sc. (Pharm);

A pilot electronic prescription system scheme in Helsinki
Year: 2005; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 54; Author: Kirsi Niiranen, M. Sc. Pharm.;

Finnish Hospital Pharmacists Association
Year: 2005; Nr: 3; Category: Country focus; Page: 55; Author: Heli Leskinen B.Sc. (Pharm.);

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Links to the local Associations in Europe

Here are the links (left side of the page, under the Archives) for the Local Associations of Hospital Pharmacists in the European countries (the Council of Europe's Member States).
I'll try to update these links and fill the missing ones.
If you find any mistake, please send me an email.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A visit to the Hospital “Georges Pompidou” in Paris

Before the beginning of the General Assembly of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists that was took place in Paris, 09-12 June 2005, a visit to the Hospital "Georges Pompidou” was organized (Thursday of 09 June).
The hospital has 780 beds and roughly 3000 individuals personnel from which 600 doctors. The pharmaceutical department has 102 (a hundred and two) personnel from which 24 are pharmacists. It functions all the 24 hours a day and distributes medicines with electronic prescription methodology.

It has a department of pharmaceutical information, reconstitution of cytostatics medicines and other of parenteral solutions, laboratory of cytostatics control and department of medical devices.
The hospital is a “paperless hospital” and everybody uses a “clever” program of computerisation.

In France the study for pharmacy last 6 years, then the pharmacist, who wants to be a hospital pharmacist, remain as internal in a hospital for 4 years and then after examinations he/she take the speciality of hospital pharmacist. Their salary is the same with the doctors.

The prescriptions are checked with a computer program by the pharmacists for interactions etc. They do not use barcodes and the industry supplies the pharmacy with medicines of common packing and they prepare the individual doses.

The pharmacists are persons in charge for the medicines, the reconstitution of cytostatics medicines, the medical appliances, the department of sterilisation, the manufacturing of medicines, the control of quality and for the medical gases.

The program of computerisation that they use all around the hospital is the "Thallis” of the company MEDAsys.

We are only two!

Chania is a city with a population of 55000 residents in the island of Crete, in the South of Greece.
Our hospital is the only general hospital in a county with a population of 150,000. It's a brand new hospital started its operation the year 2000. It has 460 beds and it replaced an old one that had 330 beds. The hospital has 750 employees. The Pharmacy department has two pharmacists, six technicians, two workers and two administrative employees.

In our hospital we serve also, except the inpatients, the indigent patients insured by the Social Care. Social Care indigent patients receive medical care only from the physicians of our hospital. They also receive pharmaceutical care and obtain their prescribed drugs, free of charge only from the Pharmacy Department of the Chania General Hospital.

We serve also three Health Centers of the county, the prisoners of the local Prison and all the patients of the county receiving the nosocomial drugs as cytostatics.
From our department we dispense also laboratory diagnostics reagents and medical devices.
Our day began usually at 07:00 pm and usually we stop working at 14:30. We remain on duty, from 14:30 until next morning, each hospital pharmacist for 10 days each month.

By the way, the salary for a hospital pharmacist with 22 years of working is 1850€ -600€ taxes= 1250€ per month. The salary for 10 days on duty per month is about 1450€ - 330€ taxes=1120€, so the total net amount of the salary for a pharmacist working for 22 years is 2370€ per month.

EAHP - European Association of Hospital Pharmacists- General Assembly

The Annual General Assembly of the EAHP -European Association of Hospital Pharmacists took place in Paris during 09-12 June 2005. In the Assembly participated delegations from almost all the countries of European Union and from other countries that participate in the Council of Europe. The website of EAHP is (

Some of the subjects that were discussed and we can publish, were the following among the others:

• The proposal to the European Union for the acting of the profession in each member state of, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, veterinarians and architects became acceptable from Parliament with general formulation (European Parliament, 11 May 2005, /adopted amendment 36/2a.
• From 23 countries 21 already they have enacted the Speciality and in the law it is left the possibility of application of speciality in any profession included the hospital pharmacy.

• The member states have deadline of 2 two years in order to advance in the enactment of speciality.
• It exists in development discussion of proposal in the European Parliament on the paediatric medicines.
• The journal EJHP -European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy- circulates henceforth in two publications, with Professionally and with Scientific subjects and is dispatched in all the colleagues.
• It has become an upgrade of the web page of EAHP with interesting content (
• All the articles of the journal EJHP -European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy- are accessible in the Internet in the page of EAHP.

• The next congress of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists will take place 22-24 March, 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland, with the main subject "Quality and Medication Safety hand in hand”.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Post to EHPB your comments!

If you are a hospital pharmacist in a European country and you want to share your thoughts with colleagues from around Europe, you can send your email to and we will add you to the authors of European Hospital Pharmacy Blog!
We wish you a sunny summer!

Monday, July 25, 2005

EORTC Education Office courses for 2005

The EORTC Education Office ( is glad to announce the following courses organised in 2005:

* One-Day Introduction to EORTC Trials, Brussels, Belgium, 7 October
Please find hereunder the Website address where you will find the registration form and some relevant information about this course:

* Cancer Clinical Trials: Methods and Practice, Brussels, Belgium, 5 to 9 September
Please find hereunder the Website address where you will find the registration form and some relevant information about this course:

* Organisation and Implementation of Cancer Clinical Trials, Leuven, Belgium, 21 to 25 November
The Website for this course is:

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The 1st post!

This is the 1st post. Good luck!


Anonymous said...


Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:47:31 PM

Rob Moss (NL) said...

A nice initiative.
Should speed up the EAHP-online site development!

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:44:03 AM

tzileon said...

Thanks a lot. As you understand this blog is only an effort to show that a forum of discussion is necessary to all of us. Every hospital pharmacist has something to say!

Thursday, August 18, 2005 7:04:24 PM