Pharmacists’ contribution to public health in noncommunicable diseases

On 29 June 2011, as an official event of the Hungarian EU Presidency, a Joint conference was held for decision makers in Budapest on Pharmacists’ contribution to public health in noncommunicable diseases, in the co-organization of the Hungarian Ministry of National Resources, the Europharm Forum, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Hungarian National Committee of Pharmaceutical Care.

The conference, which was attended by representatives from 17 countries, was opened by Deputy Secretary of State Hanna Páva. In her opening address, she underlined the role of pharmacists, as the health professional accessed most easily by patients, in increasing the efficiency of public health programmes and improving patient safety.

Lecturers at the conference pointed out how non-communicable diseases can affect life quality of patients and increase burdens of the healthcare system, which are the most important risks in medicines use and how much cost savings can be expected from the cooperation between patients and healthcare professionals. In his presentation, former Dutch Minister for Health Ab Klink drew attention to the correlation between quality of pharmacy services and cost efficiency.

The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profile on Hungary as a country-based report prepared jointly by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies was also presented. The document describes the latest changes in the Hungarian health system and policy and underlines the Government’s efforts in increasing state responsibility and reintegrating pharmacists’ patient oriented services in the healthcare system by means of elaborating and developing the concept of pharmaceutical care.

Finally, the participants were provided with detailed information on the practical aspects of pharmaceutical care in two countries: Portugal and Hungary.