Bringing European pharmacists closer together
The European Pharmacists Forum was founded in 1999 by Ornella Barra*. As a trained pharmacist and a lifelong advocate of the profession, she identified the need for a European ‘voice' for community pharmacy. Since its launch, the EPF has become a unique platform for sharing best practice and discussing strategic issues relating to pharmacy across Europe. It has also benefited independent pharmacists by encouraging a wider understanding of the activities and challenges faced by each of the European markets represented, while it has also become a respected platform for discussion with other healthcare stakeholders, such as manufacturers and government or regulatory bodies.
EPF is now well established with ten countries now represented and enjoys growing recognition among pharmacists across Europe; through its seminars held in different European locations each quarter, the EPF website and EPF quarterly newsletter, which is distributed to independent pharmacists across the continent. EPF events have always attracted an impressively high calibre of speakers - ranging from Government Ministers and senior representatives of pharmaceutical manufacturers to European Commissioners and leading academics.
Today's President of the EPF is Paulo Duarte, pharmacist by profession and also President of ANF (Associação Nacional das Farmácias–Portugal). Mike Smith, a British independent pharmacist and Non-executive advisor of Alliance Healthcare in the UK, was the first EPF President and continues to be actively involved with the EPF today. He says:
Since I first became involved in the EPF ten years ago, a great deal of excellent work has been accomplished, bringing pharmacists across Europe closer together. I very much believe that the EPF has strengthened the position of independent pharmacy across Europe.
Subsequent presidents of the EPF have included independent pharmacists from several countries: Jean Martineau ( 2002-2005), Elvire Kuyck (2005-2008), João Silvera ( 2008-2011), Andrew Lane ( 2011-2015), Marco Nocentini Mungai ( 2015-2018).