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EAHP news
EAHP sets out to future-proof the hospital pharmacy workforce
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Policy & Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, Policy & Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, 1200 Brussels, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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Healthcare workforce shortages are not a new phenomenon triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were simply exacerbated by it. Shortages of nurses or physicians in hospitals, particularly in rural areas are frequently featured in news outlets across Europe. However, not only these professions are affected but also the pharmacy workforce, including pharmacists, technicians and others. Especially those working in hospitals have to cope with staffing which is insufficient to meet patients' needs.

To address the problem of pharmacy workforce shortages, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) and its members started an in-depth analysis of the situation in Europe. A workshop conducted with delegates from EAHP’s member countries in June last year was followed by an Investigation of the Hospital Pharmacy Profession in Europe that closed in the first quarter of 2023. Touching on the state-of-the-art of the profession and specifically on the European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy, the investigation collected information on their implementation, the size of the profession and other pharmacy-specific practice areas.

Scientific achievements for example in the field of advanced therapy medicinal products are leading to increasingly complex medication-related problems, specific handling and preparations and related issues. In addition, new competencies and tasks widened the scope of engagement of hospital pharmacists in multi-professional teams in the hospital setting and beyond. Medicines reconciliation, medication optimisation, bedside counselling or being part of the antimicrobial stewardship team are just a few of the clinical pharmacy services that should be provided to all patients across Europe by hospital pharmacists as part of the multidisciplinary care team. To ensure the availability of these vital services a resilient workforce is required.

Other aspects requiring a future-proof pharmacy workforce are the increasing individualisation of care, growing medicine shortage problems requiring interventions by hospital pharmacists and supporting personnel, and rising healthcare costs. The latter …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.