Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union

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Pharmacy Education and Training

Pharmacists in the EU are one of the [six] professions granted automatic recognition of qualifications under the Directive.

No other health professionals have so much of their education devoted to medicinal products. Citizens of all EU Member States can therefore be confident that before a pharmacist is permitted to practice in in their country, the necessary studies have been successfully completed and their community pharmacist is a true expert on medicines.

For the benefit of the public, all pharmacists practice within strict Codes of Ethics and Professional Standards and have a personal commitment to maintaining professional competence throughout their working lives, through continuing professional development. EU citizens can be confident that professional regulatory controls in all Member States are designed to ensure their protection, through action being taken to ensure that all pharmacists authorised to practice and maintain the required high quality in the professional services they provide.

PGEU welcomed the last revision of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications [Directive 2013/55/EU]. PGEU is particularly pleased with the revision of the article regulating pharmacists’ activities [Art. 45§ 2]. The current provision properly reflects harmonised pharmacy practices in the Union.

Another significant development arising from the revised Directive is introduction of the European professional card (EPC). It is not a plastic card as such, but rather an e-certificate available from 18 January 2016 for five professions namely general care nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, real estate agents and mountain guides. The EPC does not replace the 'traditional' recognition procedures under the Professional Qualifications Directive, but it does offer an advantageous option for professionals who wish to work either temporarily or permanently in another EU country.

PGEU understands that soon the Commission will look into other sections of the Directive with an impact on the pharmacy profession. Therefore, PGEU together with the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy (EAFP), the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) and the European Industrial Pharmacists Group makes some proposals on those provisions (please see downloads section for detailed statement). In particular they suggest some modifications on:

Those provisions have not been changed since 1985. Pharmacy stakeholders suggest building up on the spirit of modernisation that based the last revision of the Directive. In addition, they will add consistency to the text following the last modification on the provision on pharmacists’ activities as well reflects scientific progress and innovation in practice.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

There is widespread recognition of the importance of continuous professional development (CPD) for health professions. CPD ensures that professional practice is up-to-date, contribute to improving patient outcomes and increase public confidence in the professions.

PGEU together with other health professions representing organisations undertook an EU funded study to map and describe Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes for health professions in Member States.

More information and downloads: