Record Attendance at Philippine Pharmacists Association Convention


President Leonila Ocampo welcomed the speakers and participants to the convention and at the closure gave the following address.


2012 PPhA National Convention

Puts Quality and Safety of Medicines in Focus


The Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPhA), the only accredited professional organization of pharmacists in the Philippines had successfully held its National Convention last April 26-28, 2012 at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion in Espana, Manila. The three-day event with the theme, Best Pharmacy Practices for Quality and Safety brought together international pharmacy leaders and experts in the persons of Dr Kamal Midha, Immediate Past President of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP); Mr John Ware, President of the FIP Western Pacific Pharmaceutical Forum (WPPF); and Mr John Chang, President of the Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations (FAPA). Pharmacists from all areas of practice and geographical locations in the country, totalling 2,640 had gathered for the three-day event together with representatives of government regulatory bodies and the pharmaceutical industry that were eager to learn more about the science as well as the different initiatives along the area of quality and safety of medicines.

The keynote address of Dr. Midha entitled, From Science to Practice: Ensuring Patient Outcomes through Responsible Medicines Use set the tone of the convention. This was followed by plenary sessions on Leadership and Management for Quality and Safety; Ensuring Patient Safety through Quality Drugs and Services; and Responsible Use of Medicines.

In addition to the relevant presentations by both foreign and local speakers, Filipino pharmacists witnessed some innovations in the conference format. There were parallel sessions intended for oral presentations of researches in the areas of pharmacy practice, pharmacy education and policy development and pharmaceutical sciences. A special session was also dedicated for the oral presentations of young pharmacists and pharmacy students. Pocket lectures on Non-Communicable Diseases and their Pharmacotherapy were also provided by three pharmaceutical companies for the participants on the second day. An expanded poster exhibit, consisting of scientific posters and local chapter posters, was also initiated to develop the culture of research and documentation among pharmacists. In this conference, the new electronic ID system was also utilized in the election of members of the PPhA Board of Directors. Pharmacists enjoyed the social activities and competed among themselves in the Dress Up your Jeans and the Pharmacists Got Talent competitions held on the Welcome Reception and the Fellowship Night, respectively.



Dr Kamal Midha, Immediate Past President of FIP, in his keynote address, delivered the following message to the participants.

From Science to Practice: Ensuring positive patient outcomes through medicines responsible use

Pharmaceutical scientists discover and develop new drugs & pharmaceutical therapies. Once these are developed and approved by regulatory authorities to be safe and effective, society relays on pharmacists for their rational and responsible use by patients so that the patients get the maximum benefits. These “drugs”(or agents) truly become “medicines” for patients through the application of cognitive and pharmaceutical care provided by the pharmacists and care-givers.

Pharmaceutical care is at least a four step process. These steps are or should be: 1) to determine as to what is the need of the patient such as a pharmaceutical product and/or service; then 2) to develop a suitable solution such as “a care plan”; thereafter 3) to move forward to implement this plan with a critical eye on the desired outcome for the patient; and 4) throughout this journey for the pharmacist to keep vigilance on progress by monitoring, reviewing and adjusting (if necessary) the patient’s care plan thereby assuring adherence and positive outcome. It is through these professional-patient interactions –  person to person – that the pharmaceutical profession truly becomes and is integral to National Health and service to patients.

The 21st Century will become the Century of Life Sciences where people will longer and healthier lives. In the last less than 100 years, the average life-expectancy has nearly doubled, with medicines playing an important role in improving life expectancy and quality of life. So it has to be assured – first and foremost – that medicines are of the best quality possible, safe, efficacious, and available to everyone in need. Universal access to medicines would only be possible if they are affordable based on purchasing-power-parity in line with patients’ financial resources no matter where they live.

A most critical role of pharmaceutical profession in the health of a nation such as Philippines or for that matter of any country requires that the pharmaceutical profession must support the development of need-based innovative medicines and other therapeutic interventions that are accessible and affordable. Moreover, the pharmaceutical profession must be able to provide services to support the rational and responsible use of medicines and adherence to their proper use by the patient. To maintain these roles and their continuity in the future, it is equally important that there be need-based pharmaceutical education in both pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmaceutical education is the fundamental foundation for the development of a relevant pharmaceutical work-force. This mission would be greatly facilitated if all the actors in the health-arena would identify as to what work-force is needed and what services are required. The education focus is a cyclical process that requires education to be reviewed and updated with new developments and findings.



In opening his address, the President of WPPF, thanked Mrs Ocampo and her predecessors for their support and hospitality whenever meetings were held in Manila.  He went on to say it was a great honour to be invited to speak at the oldest university in the Asia/Pacific region.


The following were identified as the major barriers to safety.

  • Counterfeit medicines
  • Sub-standard medicines
  • Internet sales of medicines
  • Marketplace sales of medicines
  • Physician diagnosis
  • Prescribing errors
  • Pharmacy errors
  • Patient non-adherence

He challenged the pharmacists to extend their current role of care out of the pharmacy and into the community.  This extension of the pharmacist’s role could cut healthcare costs enormously.  In summing up his address, he made the following points.

  • A strong national medicines policy was the foundation of medicine safety in all countries

  • Within our region, 1% of hospital admissions are the result of medication misadventure
  • Pharmacists are health professionals, not retailers of medicines and must focus on the patient, not the drug
  • Practice standards as a minimum should be based on the WHO/FIP standards to ensure safety
  • The pharmacist’s role does not cease with supply of the medicine in the pharmacy.  Extension of care beyond supply is necessary to achieve maximum patient outcomes


Mr John Chang, President of FAPA, delivered an address relating to unleashing the power of pharmacy in the Asia/Pacific region.

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