Programme Topics

Topic A: Nurturing the soul of pharmacy

A profession today is defined by more than its ability to deliver facts and knowledge on demand. A professional is someone who can apply his or her knowledge, using behaviours and cultural aspirations that reflect the modern patient’s expectations and needs. Developing these skills in the modern day pharmacy professional demands a four-way engagement: by the student, the educator, the practitioner and the patient. And, it is only by aligning academic, scientific and theoretical knowledge with practical expertise and personal skills that a professional will meaningfully cater to changing patient demand at individual and population levels. To nurture the soul of pharmacy, the profession needs to grow and be cherished. In this session, the congress will explore what is required for the profession to ‘nurture’ its profile, its role and its future in healthcare, and analyse the opportunities and challenges it will face on that journey.

Topic B: Precision pharmacotherapy

Precision medicine is an emerging model that seeks to harness shared molecular and cellular biomarkers to customise therapy to subpopulation patient groups. In contrast, personalised medicine refers to the tailoring of procedures and therapeutic interventions to an individual patient level. Pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are experts in applied therapeutics and they are uniquely positioned to transform the theories of precision and personalised pharmacotherapy into practice. Technical, ethical, and regulatory challenges will need to be addressed if pharmacy is to advance from a one-size-fits-all model. Sessions in this congress topic directly address the critical unmet medical need of individualised pharmacotherapy and will describe the basic population-based pharmacokinetic- pharmacodynamic principles that underlie dosing regimen individualisation. They will also describe approaches for integrating pharmacogenomic data in population-based analyses, and examine the value of population pharmacology and feedback measurements when individualising warfarin and antibiotic dose individualisation.

Topic C: Pharmacy services

Pharmacy services, or value added services, are pharmacy’s future. Regardless of practice setting, by moving ‘beyond the prescription’, pharmacy will deliver more effective care and enhance its position within health care. But the process of moving pharmacy into this new world where pharmaceutical care is measured in terms of return on investment and patient outcomes is fraught with challenge: attitudes and opinions of other health professionals; cultural barriers; lack of cooperation and inadequate communication between business partners; and infrastructural challenges relating to reimbursement, workforce and system organisation are just some of the obstacles ahead. Within this topic congress delegates will learn about global variations in community and hospital pharmacy, understand the gap between present and future pharmacy services, and implement service solutions that move pharmacy into the added value service delivery space.

Topic D: Smart pharmacy – medicines and beyond

Health care today is subject to advances in science and technology at an almost unprecedented rate. Medicines have become much more sophisticated, targeting specific pathways involved in disease development, and the pharmacist’s ability to select individualised therapy is improving steadily through better understanding of pharmacogenomics and more accurate diagnostic testing. Whatever their professional niche, pharmacists must keep up to date with new technologies relevant patient care.
In this session, congress delegates will identify the key technologies that have transformed pharmacy and health care in recent years, describe the contribution that these technologies have made, and understand the opportunities and challenges that are inherent in smart pharmacy and health care in the 21st century and beyond.

Topic E: Targeting special interests

In many healthcare situations, combining natural medicines (or dietary supplements) and conventional medicines can often result in good outcomes for symptom control of chronic conditions. Pharmacists will be keen to understand the evidence base that supports these products. This topic covers the quality and regulatory background for natural medicines, the evidence base, prevalence of use, and it will use case studies to illustrate the use of these products in practice. By the end, participants will be able to categorise natural medicines, and appreciate the customer base, understand the regulation and ethical considerations defining responsible use, and the evidence base that supports these products. Delegates may also wish to reflect on any further individual learning needs to support the use of these products in practice.