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Journal of the Malta College

of Pharmacy Practice
Issue 15 Summer 2009
ISSN 1811-9514

The Official Publication of

the Malta College of Pharmacy Practice
c/o Department of Pharmacy,
University of Malta, Msida
Tel: (356) 2340 2908

Chairperson of Publications
Lorna Marie West BPharm(Hons), MSc Clin Pharm (Aberdeen)

Editor in Chief
Maria Cordina BPharm(Hons), PhD(QUB)

Editorial Board

Marketing Editor
Francesca Buttigieg BPharm(Hons), MSc(Sunderland)

Good Pharmacy Practice Members

Claude Farrugia BPharm(Hons), PhD(UIC), MRSC
Sandra Mifsud Bonnici BPharm(Hons), BA, LP
Patricia Vella Bonanno BPharm(Hons), MSc(Belfast) PhD

Maria Cordina BPharm(Honx), PhD(QUB) The opinions expressed in this publication

are those of the respective authors and do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of the
Editor editor or publisher.
Advertising Policy
applicable to all official publications
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in collaboration of the Malta College of Pharmacy Practice
with the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a joint document Advertisers are liable for the contents
of any of their advertisements published
entitled ‘Good Pharmacy Practice in Community and Hospital Settings’ according to the instructions. The advertisers shall
indemnify and hold harmless the Malta College of
outlining the profession’s core activities and obligations.1 Pharmacy Practice against and from any and all
claims, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses
whatsoever, including counsel fees, arising from
the content of any of their advertisements.
The document presents a set of standards challenging in terms of access to drugs.
for the practice of pharmacy which play Another significant problem which is on the
Instructions to Authors
an important part in the measurement increase and challenges the pharmacist’s Before submitting an article to The Journal of the
of quality of service to the consumer. most basic service, is the issue of counterfeit Malta College of Pharmacy Practice, please read
While no minimum standard has been set, medicines. While international organisations and carefully follow the instructions to authors
which are found at
international, national pharmaceutical are attempting to address this issue,
organisations and governments have been pharmacists need to be vigilant to ensure
urged to use this document to set standards that good quality medicines reach their
for the practice of pharmacy which are patients.
appropriate for their country. This editorial Pharmacists also need to provide
aims to outline the main issues presented appropriate advice and information to the
The Council
in this document to reinforce practioners patient and are responsible for monitoring
commitment to good pharmacy practice. the effects of medicines use. Communicating President
The primary concern of the practice of information to the patient requires the Maria Cordina BPharm(Hons), PhD(QUB)
pharmacy is the welfare of patients. This pharmacist to possess the appropriate Ruth Theuma BPharm(Hons), MSc Clin Pharm (Aberdeen)
is achieved by the profession delivering its communication skills. Patients have a right Registrar
services at the highest possible standard. to communicate with their pharmacist in Charlotte Carabott Castagna BPharm(Hons)
Chairperson of Publications
The core pharmacy activity is the supply of a confidential manner, therefore a specific Lorna Marie West BPharm(Hons), MSc Clin Pharm (Aberdeen)
medication and other health care products area should be provided where a private Treasurer
of assured quality, which may at times prove conversation can be conducted between Angela Borg Barthet BPharm(Hons), MSc(Pub Health)
pharmacist and patient.

Issue 15 Summer 2009 Journal of the Malta College of Pharmacy Practice 3

An integral part of the practice of Pharmacists should be actively involved treatment. Individuals self-treat a large
pharmacy is the pharmacist’s contribution in various health promotion activities and proportion of their problems without
to the promotion of rational and economic should be at the forefront of campaigns consulting a health care professional,
prescribing and appropriate use of medicines. which aim to minimise the abuse or therefore pharmacists should help people
Pharmacists input into decisions about misuse of medicines. make informed choices about self-care
medicines use is essential and has been 2. Activities associated with the supply and support individuals by providing
shown to have positive outcomes both and use of medicines and items for correct information and interpreting
in terms of patient care and economic the administration of medicines or information put forward by the individual.
outcomes. Apart from having the appropriate otherwise related to treatment. This This necessitates a shift in focus to
infrastructure to achieve these outcomes, is the profession’s core activity and one of illness management and self-
pharmacists need to establish positive encompasses a vast range of services. maintenance.
professional relationships with other health These include: 4. Activities associated with influencing
care professionals especially doctors by the • Reception of the prescription and the prescribing and use of medicine.
setting up of a therapeutic partnership based confirmation of the integrity of the Pharmacists need to be proactive in
on mutual trust, respect and confidence in communication evaluating data on the use of medicines
matters relating to pharmacotherapeutics. • Assessment of the prescription by they also need to identify adverse events
Good Pharmacy Practice necessitates that the pharmacist and medication errors and act in the best
the objective of each element of pharmacy • Assembly of the prescribed item interest of the patient.
service is relevant to the patient, is clearly • Advice to ensure that the patient Regulators and pharmacy association
defined and is effectively communicated or carer receives and understands should work together towards setting high
to all those involved. In order for the sufficient written and oral standards for the profession while supporting
pharmacist to take decisions which are in the information to derive maximum pharmacists to achieve these goals in the
best interest of the patient, the pharmacist benefit from the treatment best interest of the patient.
should have access to the essential medical • Following up the effect of the
and pharmaceutical information about each prescribed treatments
patient. • Documentation of professional References
The Good Pharmacy Practice Guidelines activities.
have identified four main groups of activities 3. Activities associated with self-care, 1. Good pharmacy practice in community and hospital
for which national standards should be set. including advice about, and where settings: annex 7 to the thirty-fifth report of
the WHO Expert Committee on Specifications for
1. Activities associated with the promotion appropriate the supply of a medicine Pharmaceutical Preparations. WHO technical report
of good health, avoidance of ill-health or other treatment for symptoms of series no.885 Geneva, Switzerland: World Health
and achievement of health objectives. ailments that lend themselves to self- Organisation; 1999:93-101.

Issue 15 Summer 2009 Journal of the Malta College of Pharmacy Practice 5