PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION AND VALLETTA 2018: Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista addresses a press conference for World Pharmacists Day 2018 themed ‘Pharmacists: Your medicines experts’

Pharmacists are a trusted source of knowledge and advice, both for patients and other health care professionals. For every patient who walks into a pharmacy, pharmacists ensure that the right medicine is provided at the right dose and in the most suitable formulation to ensure that every individual receives optimal treatment. This year, World Pharmacists Day recognises the positive impact and the extensive expertise that pharmacists have and put to use every day to ensure better patient health.

Pharmacists are one of the most accessible and versatile health care professionals globally. The knowledge and expertise acquired through science and research is put into practice in providing quality care and ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines in community pharmacies, in hospitals, in the pharmaceutical industry and in regulatory affairs.

Malta benefits from a significant number of pharmacists per patient population, however, this still does not meet the increased demand for qualified pharmacists in the public and private sector, stated Deo Debattista. Youths are encouraged to read for Bachelor Degrees in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology and graduates are prompted to further their studies in postgraduate pharmaceutical research related courses, namely the Master’s in Pharmacy and the Doctorate in Pharmacy. The synergy between the Malta Medicines Authority, the Department of Pharmacy and the Healthcare Services provide an excellent opportunity for students to carry out scientific research in different areas of pharmacy including pharmacogenetics, clinical pharmacy, medicinal cannabis and medical devices.

Pharmacists around the world use World Pharmacist Day to highlight the value of the pharmacy profession to stakeholders. The Department of Pharmacy at the University of Malta in collaboration with the Pharmacy Department at Karin Grech Hospital is organising a patient-centred activity at the Outpatients Department of Karin Grech Hospital. After their medical appointment, patients are given a medication plan and counselled about their medications to improve the outcomes of medicines management.

Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 Deo Debattista said that pharmacists choose this profession for the contribution it makes to society. This gratification is far more important than financial income. The role of pharmacists has moved beyond the traditional compounding and dispensing of medication towards a more professional advisory healthcare role. Pharmacy is expanding in new directions to meet and improve the healthcare needs of all patients. This is possible through a robust and rewarding educational framework of undergraduate and postgraduate studies, said Deo Debattista.

Source: Government of Malta