The importance of the full involvement of pharmacists in self care should be promoted by governments and insurers, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has said in its Statement of Policy “Pharmacy: Gateway to care”. This new statement, adopted by FIP’s Council yesterday, replaces the federation’s 1996 statement “Self care including self medication — The professional role of the pharmacist”. It calls for pharmacists to be fully incorporated into health systems both for the prevention and management of illness, and for them to be properly remunerated for delivery of their self-care services.
The new statement also makes a number of recommendations for pharmacy organisations and pharmacists, including that the former should ensure that rural communities have access to pharmacies, and that the latter should develop and adopt standard operating procedures for quality management of self-care services (such as proper documentation of medicines reconciliation, adherence support and medication management).
The statement follows the release in March 2017 of a 68-page report by FIP entitled “Pharmacy as a gateway to care: Helping people towards better health”. This report presents a collection of evidence of pharmacy services related to self-care and the value that pharmacists bring to health care systems in this respect.
“In an increasing number of countries, pharmacies are now seen as a formal point of entry to the primary health care system. Notable examples include a minor ailments scheme in Scotland and a triage scheme in Switzerland. But more recognition of the many benefits delivered by pharmacy self-care services is needed. Through this statement of policy, FIP also commits to support its member organisations to develop quality standards for these services in a national context and to continue to advocate this important aspect of health care,” said Mr Paul Sinclair, president of FIP’s Community Pharmacy Section.