The Minister of Health and Consumer Affairs, Catherine Garciahighlighted this sunday the “specific and irreplaceable role” played by pharmacists “within the health team”. “You are a key element in the gears of Andalusian public health to obtain an optimal result on the health of the patient”, he declared in front of the more than 5,000 participants at the LXXX World Pharmacy Congress and XXII National Pharmaceutical Congressinaugurated today in Seville.
García took the opportunity to announce that the Ministry will deal in this legislature with the “essential” modification of the current Andalusian Pharmacy Law, which dates from 2007. “We are committed to strengthening pharmaceutical care throughout the community, especially in small towns”, he explained, for which he asked for the collaboration of professionals: “We want to do it with your help”.
The head of Health and Consumer Affairs argued that “the text of the new law removes the mechanism currently foreseen for the selection of drugs, as it poses significant supply problems to pharmacies and, consequently, the loss of compliance in the treatment of people with health problems”.
But, he added, “we want to tackle the preparation and publication of the regulations of this law in this legislature, because, although the regulations date from 2007, they have not yet been developed in the aspects that have proven to be necessary for the correct provision of medicines and pharmaceutical care”.
Similarly, the counselor confirmed that her service prepares the announcement of the second public call for tenders for the award of new pharmacy cabinets for “before February 2023”. Since the entry into force of the Andalusian Pharmacy Law (Law 22/2007) in 2007, only one competition has been announced in 2010. At that time, more than 300 pharmacy practices were awarded, but a total of 2,800 requests. “Population growth since then and the pharmaceutical assistance needs of the population make this increase in the number of pharmacies necessary,” he added.
Catalina García added that over the next four years the ministry will work towards signing an agreement with the Andalusian Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists for Public Health actions that take place in pharmacies.
“It’s about formalizing what we are already doing, bringing content and establishing a protocol that accredits pharmacies and trains professionals in the field of health promotion and protection, disease prevention and health educationtaking advantage of the pharmacy’s ability to reach citizens directly, and to collaborate in prevention and care actions”, he explained.
In this sense, the adviser recalled that “the community pharmacy has already demonstrated, during the pandemic, its ability in the implementation of models of continuity of care which have enabled us to guarantee the accessibility of patients to all medicines, in particular the most vulnerable”.
Specifically, García referred to the distribution of hospital drugs, “to avoid that patients or their families have to personally go to the hospital to collect their drugs”; the exceptional dispensation of chronic drug treatments due to the lack of access to refilling prescriptions; the dispensing of medicines and other health products at home for vulnerable patients; vague free distribution of surgical masks to users aged 65 or over.
Finally, the Health and Consumption Manager thanked the “commitment” and “responsibility” of pharmacists during the Covid-19 pandemicfrom the pharmaceutical industry, in the research and development of effective vaccines, to distributors, which have made it easier for them to reach everyone under conditions of fairness, safety and quality, and in particular, to pharmacists who directly treat patients and make a model considered “one of the best in the world” by the World Health Organization.
Health Minister Carolina Darias; the mayor of Seville, Antonio Muñoz; the President of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Dominique Jordan, and the President of the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacists of Spain, Jesús Aguilar.