Special account “Seminar on the future training of pharmacists in Europe”
1. Authority to open the special account “Seminar on the future training of pharmacists in Europe” was granted at the 519th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies held on 19-20 October 1994 (see CM/Del/Dec(94)519, item 6.1).
2. This account enabled the Council to bear part of the expenses incurred by the seminar on "The Pharmacist and the Challenge of New Social Trends" (Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 18-20 October 1995).
3. By decision of the Committee of Ministers, in its composition restricted to the Representatives of the member States of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field, further extensions of the special account were granted:
- until 31 December 1999 for the Seminar "The Pharmacist at the Crossroads of new Health Risks: an indispensable Partner for their Management!" (Strasbourg, 20-22 October 1999) (See CM/Del/Dec(96)580, item 11.4 – 16-17 December 1996);
- until 31 December 2003 for other Seminars of that kind (see also CM/Del/Dec(99)692, item 11.3 – 15 December 1999).
4. Those events, whilst being conceived and organised under the responsibility of the Committee of Experts on Pharmaceutical Questions of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health field, are open to participants from all European countries, members and non members of the Council of Europe. The discussions and conclusions of those Seminars offer a valuable contribution to the definition of competencies and skills that pharmacists should display in the coming decades. Moreover, these Seminars are an excellent means of co-operation with Council of Europe member States which have not acceded to the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field, particularly with Central and Eastern European States.
5. A number of Committee of Ministers' Resolutions have resulted from those seminars, namely:
- AP (93) 1 on the Role and Training of Community Pharmacists (23 November 1993) (Seminar held in October 1991);
- AP (94) 1 on the Rational Use of Medicines (10 October 1994) (same 1991 Seminar);
- AP (97) 2 on the Development of the Function of Pharmacists and the Adaptation of their Initial Training (30 September 1997) (Seminar held in October 1995);
- AP (2001) 2 concerning the Pharmacist's Role in the Framework of Health Security (21 March 2001) (Seminar held in October 1999).
6. The Committee of Experts on Pharmaceutical Questions intends continuing to organise such seminars periodically. It is recalled that the Ministers' Deputies, when they gave the Secretary General leave to open a special account under the head "Seminar on the future training of pharmacists in Europe" at their 519th meeting, had decided that "at the closure of the account any unallocated balance could be used for the organisation of seminars in the pharmaceutical field, based on Secretariat proposals to this end." The balance on this special account at the date of writing amounts to €2890.
Extension of the scope and change of name of the special account
7. The change of name and extension of the scope of the special account “Seminar on the future training of pharmacists in Europe ” is requested to enable funding of projects aiming at enhancing the safety and quality of pharmaceutical practice in Europe by voluntary contributions.
8. By extending the scope of the special account as proposed an effective link between the conclusions drawn from the seminars and their practical implementation and evaluation can be achieved.
9. The first project qualified for funding from the extended account is dealing with “Minimising risks to public health posed by counterfeit medicines”. A Partial Agreement member State has made an initial pledge of a voluntary contribution of 25 000 € in 2003 to initiate the project by funding the basis activity.
10. At its 51st session in Lisbon (April 2003), the Committee of Experts on Pharmaceutical Questions has identified the lack of awareness of counterfeit medicines and the lacunae in the collection and exchange of information and risk management within authorities and stakeholders of the health care system and medicines' production and distribution channels. There is a consensus that counterfeit medicines represent an ever-growing danger to public health in the member States of the Council of Europe, in particular where the medicines' control system is not strong enough to contain this problem.
11. On this basis the Committee of Experts has decided to set up a multisectoral ad hoc Group with the objective of developing and implementing effective measures to minimise public health risks posed by counterfeit medicines in the Council of Europe member States.
12. This activity involves public (Health, Justice, Police and Customs) and private sectors, international organisations (WHO) and European institutions. Partial Agreement member States and non-member States (e.g. Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo/UNMIC, Moldova, the Russian Federation) have delegated experts and/or contact persons.
13. The project aims at implementing the Committee of Ministers' Resolution AP (2001) 2 concerning the pharmacist's role in the framework of health security, which stipulates in paragraph 8 “…Counterfeit pharmaceuticals pose real threats. In order to combat these dangers, the authorities, manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations must co-operate…”.
Proposed project activities, budget and calender for implementation
14. The proposed activities represent coherent but independent aspects of the overall aim to minimise the risks posed by counterfeit medicines for the European citizens and encompass the following steps:
a. developing outlines for a harmonised legislation applicable to counterfeit medicines in the member states;
b. developing a model for a risk management procedure;
c. awareness-raising and training in risk management for concerned health and law enforcement specialists (subsequent cross- border trainings in 2 European regions in 2005 and 2006 );
d. creating a platform for exchange of information and elaborate rapid alert systems.
15. It is proposed to start off the project in 2003 with the elaboration of outlines for a harmonised legislation applicable to counterfeit medicines. The completement of items a. and d. are scheduled for 2004 and of items b. and c. for 2005-2006
16. The budget necessary for the initiation of the project and the elaboration of outlines for a harmonised legislation applicable to counterfeit medicines is €25 000.
17. Additional funding of approximately €40 000 would be necessary to complete other project items, particularly item c. incurring in 2005. Whilst each separate activity contributes to the overall objective of the project, each is sufficiently independent to justify their implementation as an ownstanding activity.
18. The Committee of Experts on Pharmaceutical Questions has approved the project proposal at its 52nd session.
19. Funding will be done by voluntary contributions of Council of member States and associations and foundations. This income would be credited to the special account. Sponsors would be selected in a way as to respect the Council of Europe's principles and independence.
20. The balance of €2890 earmarked for the organisation and holding of future seminars will be spent for such seminars exclusively, in accordance with the Deputies' decision at their 519th meeting (see §6 above).