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World Pharmacist Day – Safe and effective medicines for all

In acknowledgement of the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s World Pharmacist Day, which is focusing on safe and effective medicines for all, Dr Jim Livingstone, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI, made the following statement:

“I wish to acknowledge, on World Pharmacist Day, the important contribution pharmacists make to patient safety and society at large. Pharmacists work tirelessly in increasingly diverse roles across Northern Ireland, in hospitals, general practice, community pharmacy, care settings, education and in research to improve patient health.

“The theme of this year’s World Pharmacist Day is to promote pharmacists’ crucial role in safeguarding patient safety through improving medicines use and reducing medication errors. A key aspect of this work is ensuring that pharmacists feel empowered to report errors and learn from them. That is why I am pleased that the Pharmaceutical Society NI has been able to play its part, through the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board, in developing the Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Registered Pharmacies) Order 2018 which has created a legal defence against single dispensing errors in community pharmacy and is contributing to the further development of openness and promoting honest learning cultures across pharmacy. We look forward to the Governments extending this openness and learning to pharmacists working in hospitals and other settings.

“Significant advancements have been made in Northern Ireland in delivering efficient and modern pharmacy services and in expanding the range of services offered by pharmacists to patients. While these advances have created new opportunities to improve patient care, they have also brought challenges for pharmacists in terms of workload and the continuous learning required in a rapidly changing clinical and technological environment. They also pose challenges for us to ensure that our regulations, standards and guidance are adequate to protect the public without getting in the way of innovation and development within the profession.

“In the face of these challenges and the increasingly important role of pharmacists in the provision of primary healthcare, it is crucial that we continue to work with pharmacists, the public and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland to enhance public safety.”