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Bioethics: a challenge and an opportunity for hospital pharmacists
  1. Alessandra Bernardi1,
  2. Nicola Realdon2,
  3. Angelo Claudio Palozzo1
  1. 1 Istituto Oncologico Veneto Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Padova, Italy
  2. 2 Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padua, Padova, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alessandra Bernardi, Veneto Institute of Oncology IRCCS – Hospital Pharmacy, Gattamelata, 35128 Padova, Italy; alessandra.bernardi{at}


Objectives Traditionally, pharmacy ethics in Europe has held an insignificant place in the scheme of pharmaceutical education. We embraced the idea that bioethics should be an integral part of a pharmacist’s education and professional practice, especially in hospital pharmacy where the concept of ‘pharmaceutical care’ should be revitalised to strengthen the broad-based and patient-oriented responsibilities of the clinical pharmacist.

Methods We decided to structure a bioethics course tailored to pharmacists who are specialising in hospital pharmacy. We first created a training network partnership between a university and a research hospital to integrate classroom teaching with skill-specific practical experience. Our course pilot project introduces, in two of the four years of the national specialty programme, general topics and practical bioethical issues.

Results A pilot course on ethics for the School of Specialisation in Hospital Pharmacy began at the Padua University in 2014. in February 2017 we contacted the same students again, asking them further questions about their experience. Several students asked to examine more cases and to deal with the few arguments that questioned them on an ethical level. On the whole, through the comments of trainees, the needs of those who are facing an unfamiliar subject, which is perceived as important, emerge.

Conclusion Even if we are aware that this is a pilot project and requires more data, dissemination of this experience into a wider network will help us to define an effective educational pathway in collaboration with other Specialty Schools of Hospital Pharmacy.

  • hospital pharmacy education
  • oncology
  • ethics committee
  • bioethics
  • hospital pharmacy competencies

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