FIP has announced its 2021 awards and inducted nine winners, including two Australians, as FIP fellows
A freephone service created by a pharmacy COVID-19 “crisis cabinet” to maintain care and help ensure safety of citizens and pharmacy teams following a declaration of a state of emergency is the winner of the International Pharmaceutical Federation Pharmacy Practice Improvement Award 2021.
The award to the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF), Portugal, was announced at an online awards ceremony.
The freephone service, “1400”, was launched rapidly in March 2020, and used an online platform to control phone contacts and orders.
It guaranteed that all patients could access their medicines. Open 24 hours a day, it allowed callers to find the closest pharmacy to them that could respond to their need for a medicine and advice.
Shortly after launch, its scope was extended to support new pandemic measures for hospital medicines to be dispensed by community pharmacies and for home deliveries in partnership with the Portuguese postal service.
This helped to reduce queues and the need for trips to hospitals.
By December 2020, the 1400 number had received over 61,000 calls and 9,200 deliveries of medicines were organised via the freephone service. ANF head of institutional affairs Dr Sonia Queiros said: “People have been highly satisfied with this initiative, which reinforced the trust placed in community pharmacists.
“The service has also helped with the challenges pharmacists faced under COVID-19. It provides a reliable source of advice amid a flood of information, it helped tackle medicines hoarding, and it helped reduce the burden on pharmaceutical teams, allowing them to work efficiently and support the needs of their frightened population with confidence.
“The ANF is very proud that its work with partners and community pharmacists to implement this service has been recognised with this award.”
Best national health promotion campaign
FIP’s 2021 Health Promotion Campaign Award went to the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore (PSS), which, under COVID-19 restrictions, revamped its 25th annual national Pharmacy Week in order to continue to educate and empower the public to improve their health.
With an overarching theme of “Digitising health care: Your health at your fingertips”, a “virtual carnival” of events was organised focusing on: medication management made easy, access to medicines, digital health care, health literacy and the roles and expertise of pharmacists. Campaign tools included livestream talks, educational videos (e.g., on how to use self-care diagnostic devices), infographics, quizzes, a Pharmacy Week webpage, social media content and Singapore’s first virtual pharmacy tours, which allowed the public to take a virtual walk around a community pharmacy and a hospital pharmacy.
“We are honoured to receive this international award for our initiative, involving the entire pharmacy community in Singapore, which is a strong recognition of our perseverance towards contributing to public health and safety,” said Yong Pei Chean, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore.
“The topics were relevant and provided much needed guidance for the public to navigate healthcare services, particularly pharmacy services, especially during the pandemic outbreak period when many healthcare changes were introduced.
“In addition, the public were able to view the video tutorials and other self-help information at their convenience, anytime, anywhere.
“Over 2,000 visits were clocked during the two-day event and the site continued to see repeated patronage subsequently, which is a strong indication of the value of the information provided,” she said.
Individual FIP awards
Nine pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists from seven countries were recognised for their contribution to pharmacy and made FIP Fellows at a virtual awards ceremony today:
• Prof. Patricia Acuna-Johnson (Chile)
• Dr Dalia Bajis Al-Jasra (Kingdom of Bahrain)
• Dr Mariet Eksteen (South Africa)
• Dr Ian Larson (Australia)
• Prof. Don Mager (USA)
• Dr Jonathan Penm (Australia)
• Dr Bernard Poggi (France)
• Mr Olusola Solarin (Nigeria)
In addition, Prof. James Stevenson (USA) received the FIP Distinguished Practice Award.