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The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) is a working community of national associations of hospital pharmacists. Its membership includes representatives of national hospital pharmacy associations in almost all of the EU member states, in addition to Switzerland, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia Herzegovina. Membership is increasing each year and, at present, the EAHP represents the interest of over 21 000 hospital pharmacists in 31 countries all over Europe.
At a scientific congress in Strasbourg, a number of hospital pharmacists from different European countries decided that they should establish a new European association to represent their common interests. Thus in 1969 the seeds of the EAHP were sown. On 6 March 1972, representatives of six European countries signed the first Statutes of the EAHP in The Hague, The Netherlands. The first President of the EAHP was Marcel Lebas from France.
The first member countries were Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany and The Netherlands. In 1973, Ireland and Spain joined the EAHP, soon followed by Norway, Greece, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland. In the 1990s, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Luxembourg, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic became members. More recently, Bulgaria and Bosnia Herzegovina became members of the EAHP. Membership within the EAHP is open to country members of the Council of Europe.
On 1 August 2011, the EAHP officially became an international, not for profit organisation, and adjusted its policy to better face modern challenges.
To develop hospital pharmacy and to establish a common pharmaceutical policy in Europe
The EAHP has prepared and issued policy statements in relation to important aspects of hospital pharmacy practice in Europe. These policy statements represent agreed positions of all of the member states and are communicated to the national member associations so that they can be incorporated into local policy. These policy statements are also communicated to the relevant European authorities and other concerned parties, such as the pharmaceutical industry and other bodies representing pharmacists in Europe.
To work for the advancement of the position and role of the pharmacists in hospitals
The General Assembly of the EAHP is an important forum where hospital pharmacy leaders in Europe can exchange information and ideas, and make comparisons of their situations relative to other countries. The Board of the EAHP is charged with the responsibility of promoting the decisions and policies agreed at the General Assembly. This is done through making contacts and building partnerships with EU institutions, the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU), the Industrial Pharmacists' Group and the WHO Europharm Forum, among others.
Three major developments have greatly enhanced the possibilities for achieving this goal:
▶ Establishment of an official journal of the EAHP, the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP). Through this publication, the policies and decisions of the EAHP are rapidly and effectively communicated to all hospital pharmacists in Europe.
▶ Establishment of an annual scientific congress, open to all hospital pharmacists—the EAHP Congress of Hospital Pharmacy. The congress takes place on an annual basis each spring. The first EAHP Congress of Hospital Pharmacy took place in March 1996 in Amsterdam.
▶ Completion of a comprehensive survey of hospital pharmaceutical services in Europe. The survey provides an important benchmark that can be used in the future to objectively assess the progress being made in each country. It also provides national associations with a wealth of important comparative data that can be used by them in individual countries to promote local developments. The last survey was published in 2005 and the most recent survey was conducted in 2011, with a publication date of March–June 2012.
To uphold the interests of hospital pharmacists in EU member states with the EU authorities
This is achieved by continuous corresponding with the EU authorities in Brussels, via the Board of the EAHP and its staff members. The General Assembly also encourages each national member association, through its EAHP delegation, to lobby with its own regulatory and governmental authorities in order to influence policy at both the national and EU level. The General Assembly also encourages each national member association, through its EAHP delegation, to lobby with its own regulatory and governmental authorities in order to influence policy at both the national and EU level.
To promote cooperation with other professional bodies
The EAHP has official and unofficial contacts with other bodies, including the presentation of annual reports and position statements. The EAHP has regular contacts with the PGEU, the European Industrial Pharmacists' Group (EIPG), the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy (ESCP), the European Pharmaceutical Students' Association (EPSA), the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy (EAFP), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), to name but a few.
The EAHP helps hospital pharmacists from Europe improve healthcare and patient safety through science, practice, sharing best practice and collaborative actions.
The primary governing body is the General Assembly, which meets annually and elects the Board of the Association. The General Assembly is a delegate conference at which each member state may have up to three delegates. Every delegation has one vote, regardless of size.
The Board of Directors is the executive body of the Association and is elected for a 3 year term of office, with the possibility of re-election. The responsibility for the core activities of the Association are shared between the different directors. The Board normally meets four times a year in addition to meetings during the congress and the General Assembly.
The Board carries out the policies agreed at the General Assembly, designs the strategic goals of the association and coordinates their implementations, with the support of the EAHP staff. In addition, the Board is closely involved in the control of the official journal of the Association, EJHP.