PSMO-09 - Pharmacists as influencers across public health: Moving towards future sustainable pharmacy practice

Organised by FIPs' Social and Administrative Pharmacy Section


Dr. Vaiyapuri Subramaniam, ExCo member FIP Social and Administrative Pharmacy Section, United States and Mr. Jamil Karaki, Megamind Pharmacist, Australia


This session demonstrates pharmacists’ critical role as public health influencers to meet global challenges to ensure sustainable patient-centered care. It advocates for both individual pharmacists to act as influencers within their scope of practice, as well as leaders of the profession to work with public health policymakers to ensure involvement in policy decision-making in managing medication-use processes and collaborating with other healthcare professions to achieve sustainable business models. This session will draw interest from both experienced and early career pharmacists in identifying and critically analyzing information, such as that from health applications and social media, which may impact the expanding scope of pharmacy practice in supporting patient-focused and population-based care to improve health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how fragile the global public health systems are and their impact on patient safety. Pharmacists must continually be prepared to meet these challenges through addressing social determinants of health to mitigate threats that are high risk to public health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists expanded their scope of practice in vaccine administration, COVID-19 testing and chronic disease management.

Pharmacists’ patient-focused roles and initiatives in the community were exemplified in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine recommendations and administration, oral contraception management, initiation of pre-exposure (PrEP) and post-exposure (PEP) HIV treatment, antiretroviral adherence management, and warfarin management, to name a few. Existing trends in different countries show increases in inequity where patients lack adequate access to care and pharmacy services, making pharmacists’ roles in medication therapy management extremely vital. To ensure a sustainable pharmacy practice presence in community and primary care, pharmacy services are essential to mitigate gaps in care and equity in patient access to medicines, adverse events monitoring, medication therapy management, and adherence. In the US, Collaborative Practice Agreements with physicians have empowered pharmacists and revolutionized their capacity for professional development to accomplish viable roles towards a sustainable pharmacy presence and improving health equity. Global challenges remain for pharmacists to effectively expand their practice infrastructure and commitment to maximize patient engagement in self-care. It is imperative for pharmacists to embrace innovations in pharmacy practice (e.g. using technology) to ensure sustainability that leads to stability and ongoing success of the profession.



14:30 – 14:35 Session introduction by the chair
14:35 – 15:00 Collaborating opportunities for pharmacists towards a sustainable business model
Dr Arcelio Benetoli, State University of Ponta Grossa, Brazil
15:00 – 15:25 Maximising patient engagement and partnership in self-care in community practice
Dr Alina Cernasev, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, United States
15:25 – 15:50

Panel discussion with chairs, speakers and

  • Dr Certina Ho, ISMP, Canada
  • Dr Ramesh Walpola, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia
15:50 – 16:00 Conclusions

Learning objectives

  • To describe the pharmacist’s role in supporting healthcare system needs in public health and preventative medication therapy management
  • To identify barriers and facilitators experienced by pharmacists while caring for patients and maintaining a sustainable business model
  • To discuss lessons learned and opportunities for engaging pharmacists and patient partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • To demonstrate the key role played by pharmacists in facilitating patients’ self-care in community and primary care sectors

Take home messages

The session will heighten awareness of pharmacists as public health influencers and highlight the challenges in adopting innovative approaches to provide patient-centered care while maintaining a sustainable business model. Delegates will learn how pharmacists with provider status and prescribing authority can leverage their expanded scope of practice in collaborating with other healthcare professionals and partnering with patients to ensure equity in access to pharmacy services while being appropriately compensated for such services through healthcare system funding.