Advanced, diverse functions of pharmacists today detailed in new report

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A new global study on the advanced and specialized roles of pharmacists and the means supporting these developments was released last week during the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences late last week.

The study, “Advanced Practice and Specialization in Pharmacy: Global Report," was conducted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation Education Initiative.

"Around the world, pharmacists’ roles are becoming more diversified," study co-author Kirstie Galbraith said. "Some countries are recognizing this by area of specialty practice in a sector or clinical area; others are identifying advanced performance using evidence-driven, developmental frameworks. So there is a variety of means to recognize practice beyond that seen at initial registration."

The report features information from 48 countries and territories. It includes case studies that outline trends in policy development connected to advanced and specialized roles,  such as the development of national definitions, criteria and professional recognition systems. The report said that in over 40 percent of the countries, formal post-nominal credentials are available to recognize an advanced or specialist pharmacy practitioner.

“The information contained in this report is vital to help identify workforce needs that directly impact on universal health coverage and the achievement of targets, such as the millennium and sustainable development goals,” Ian Bates, co-author of the report, said. “This is all in the interest of patients, health systems and the profession.”

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International Pharmaceutical Federation Education Initiative