(1994; 60 pages)
7.2 Pharmacy manpower development for health care systems
1. Each country should prepare pharmacy manpower plans in the context of health manpower planning and health planning as a whole, taking into account the objectives of its health system.
2. Pharmacists holding senior positions in government, professional associations, and schools of pharmacy should collaborate with experts in manpower planning in devising and monitoring pharmacy manpower development plans.
3. In countries with an acute shortage of pharmacists, manpower plans should give priority to filling positions in drug regulation and control, procurement and distribution of medicines, and hospital pharmacy.
1. Countries that have not already done so should move towards a university degree education for pharmacists as quickly as possible, and meanwhile should establish minimum acceptable standards for the qualifications of pharmacists.
2. In all aspects of undergraduate education, relevance to the practice of pharmacy should be maintained and clearly indicated; and the learning process and methods of evaluation should be related to the components of professional competence and to the principles of high standards of professional conduct.
3. Pharmacy undergraduate courses should devote approximately the same amount of time to the three elements of pharmaceutical sciences, with appropriate additional emphasis given to pathology and therapeutics as they relate to the practice of community and hospital pharmacy.
4. One element of the pharmacy course should deal with national legislation related to pharmacy and provide an introduction to international control mechanisms, professional ethics, and the application of pharmaceutical sciences to practice, particularly in relation to the rational use of drugs and their misuse and abuse.
5. Apart from its specific pharmaceutical elements, the undergraduate course should also be designed to enable students to acquire an acceptable level of competence in interpersonal and communication skills and in the applications of the behavioural sciences to health care practice, and to practise according to the requirements of national health care policies and strategies.
6. Governments and other regulatory authorities should give priority to the provision of properly qualified academic staff, which should include a majority of pharmacists; to collaboration with pharmacy schools in other countries; and to the provision of equipment and learning materials commensurate with satisfactory pharmaceutical education.
7. All schools of pharmacy should have a significant level of research activity involving members of the academic staff and related to pharmacy practice as well as to pharmaceutical sciences.
Postgraduate education and research
1. Schools of pharmacy should continue to offer postgraduate courses in the pharmaceutical sciences, as well as courses related to specialized aspects of practice.
2. The academic staff in schools of pharmacy should have a substantial research commitment within the pharmaceutical sciences, and in collaboration with pharmacy practitioners should develop research into the various aspects of pharmacy practice.
1. Continuing education programmes should always be related to the competency needs of pharmacy practice and should include problem-solving related to pharmacy practice.
2. A systematic approach should be adopted for planning and evaluating continuing education programmes. It should be based on strategies determined by professional pharmacy associations and government health departments, and include a multiprofessional approach which would link schools of pharmacy with practising pharmacists and other health care practitioners in the planning of programmes.
3. National authorities should make every effort to increase the participation of pharmacists in continuing education programmes by the introduction of incentives, by using flexible and practice-related learning programmes, and by the use of a full range of educational techniques and technologies.