We, the European Association of Pharmacy Technicians, understand that Pharmacy Technicians across Europe are working extremely hard in this continuing challenging time for us all right now, ensuring that patients have timely access to their medicines and the pharmaceutical care they need. We acknowledge that the social and economic impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect us all.
A constantly changing situation across Europe creates uncertainty but since the start of the pandemic, teams of scientists across the world have been working to develop the vaccines we now have to administer against the virus.
Pharmacy Technicians across Europe are at the forefront of the vaccination roll out, whether that be actually injecting patients, drawing up and preparing the injections or working within multidisciplinary teams supporting the operational organisation of the vaccination programmes.
The EAPT Board send again their heartfelt thanks to all pharmacy technicians, not just in Europe but across the world, for their continued professionalism and commitment to helping healthcare teams to combat this virus. This be wherever they work, either in hospital pharmacies or community pharmacies, either on the frontline working with patients or working behind the scenes helping with vaccine stock ordering, storage and distribution to the vaccination sites. We are extremely grateful to you all.
As in our message last year, we do hope that you are staying safe and healthy and looking after your own mental health and wellbeing, so that you can continue to deliver pharmacy services in this time of international need.
EAPT salute you and support your invaluable role; we stand together with you.
Sincerest best wishes
The European Association of Pharmacy Technicians (EAPT) are delighted to announce the date of the 2021 annual meeting. The meeting will take place on Wednesday 12st May 2021 and due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic will be a virtual meeting hosted by Portugal on Zoom.
Although we will miss seeing our country members in person, following the success of our recent Zoom meetings, we have decided to use this virtual video conferencing technology to bring us together and to share the wealth of news and updates from our national countries. The EAPT Board continue to meet virtually and are now thrilled to be planning the programme for our May annual meeting. Alongside all of the interesting conversations between our countries, the invaluable Pharmacy Technician input into rolling out mass national coronavirus vaccination programmes will be high on our agenda.
We, the European Association of Pharmacy Technicians, acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic poses major risks to the health of national populations across the world and this is a human tragedy. These are difficult and unprecedented times and pharmacy teams are at the forefront of the crisis, going above and beyond to ensure patients receive their medicines.
The EAPT Board would wholeheartedly like to thank pharmacy technicians across Europe, and the globe, for all of their hard work and professionalism shown when meeting the current demands in extremely pressured conditions. We are exceedingly grateful to all who are working long hours and working differently in challenging circumstances, both in community and hospital pharmacies, either on the front line or behind the scenes.
We do hope that you are all safe and healthy and thank you for your continued commitment to delivering pharmacy services and putting patients first at this time of international need.
Please do stay safe and know that we are in this together.
Sincerest best wishes
The EAPT Meeting 2020 will not take place in Zagreb, Croatia in April.
We will be looking for a new date, dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The meeting 2019 held in April, was in the beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden and was hosted by Farmaciforbundet, the Department of Pharmacy and Health; part of the Swedish Unionen.
As usual, the meeting was lively, exhilarating and full of discussion, networking, exploring our differences, recognising our similarities and sharing our experiences on many topics related to pharmacy technicians, pharmacy practice and national policies. We were nine countries Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom, all giving and sharing national updates and participating in the work of EAPT.
The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) continued membership of the European Association of Pharmacy Technicians (EAPT).
The APTUK President, Liz Fidler, and the Board of Directors has recently met to review and agree the Associations’ annual key priorities and made the difficult decision to withdraw the continuing membership with EAPT and have not renewed for 2019/2020.
The Board acknowledges the significant input by Tess Fenn (APTUK Past President & EAPT Secretary) and previous APTUK representatives. The APTUK Board has indicated will keep EAPT on the agenda and review the position in 2020 as APTUK strengthens.
EAPT would like to take this opportunity to thank the UK and APTUK for their support over the last 20 + years and their invaluable contribution to the inception of our Pharmacy Technician European collaboration through to the setup of the Committee of European Pharmacy Technicians (CEPT) and our current registered organisation EAPT in 2010.
In Portugal, community pharmacies will be allowed to perform point-of-care tests for the detection of HIV infection and viral hepatitis (B and C) without the need for a previous medical prescription.
The Ministry of Health authorised the use of devices for these rapid tests in pharmacies and also in pathology laboratories to reduce the “rate of late diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in Portugal is "highest" in the European Union.”
Likewise, to other biochemical and physiological parameters already evaluated in pharmacies network (such as diabetes, cholesterol or PSA), these rapid screening tests will allow increasing earlier detection of these diseases. In about 15 minutes, patients could have access to the results that should always have to be confirmed later if they are reactive (positive). This measure will allow early identification of cases of infection and will eventually contribute to reducing social stigma.
The National competent authority – INFARMED IP - is now publishing the necessary guidelines to start these tests, safeguarding confidentiality and privacy and providing appropriate information by health professionals – “who will have training for counselling before and after the test and appropriate referral”, referred the office to the national press.
The adherence of pharmacies to perform these tests is voluntary.