B8 - Finding the humanitarian face of pharmacy

Organised in collaboration with FIP’s Community Pharmacy Section and Military and Emergency Pharmacy Section


Mr Lars-Åke Söderlund (Co-Chair FIP Programme Committee, Sweden)
Dr Melanie Morrow (National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Australia)


The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the unpreparedness of humanity for the global catastrophe. In crisis situations, pharmacists perform a wide range of activities. In addition to medicine and medical device supply management, patient care and supervision of therapy, they may provide emergency medical care, administer vaccines, establish crisis management policies and implement adopted principles. The involvement of pharmacists in humanitarian work is still insufficient, although progress has been made. COVID-19 has certainly opened a new chapter in the development of pharmaceutical profession, which will significantly change after the current crisis, along with other professions. Active involvement of pharmacists in healthcare teams is necessary in order for their expertise to be put to optimal use and for them to gain experience.

The role of pharmacists in humanitarian crises and natural disasters is continuing to evolve as organisers and policymakers understand the value that pharmacists bring to those situations. In some cases, pharmacists volunteer from a purely selfless internal motive to help; in other cases, there is an organised political requirement for pharmacy to be included in the medical team assigned to provide relief and support. This session showcases how pharmacists have gone beyond their daily activities to offer humanitarian support, as well as the global need and value to engage pharmacists in refugee crises or natural disasters.



14:00 – 14:10      Introduction by the chair 

14:10 – 14:35


Managing the pandemic as a humanitarian aid pharmacist
Mr Lucas Ercolin, FIP Young Pharmacists Group, Brazil 

14:35 – 15:00


The humanitarian pharmacy in international conflicts: Intervention in Ukraine
Mr Angel Acisclo Huelamo, Villanueva Farmaceuticos Sin Frontera in Spain, , Spain
15:00 – 15:20   Q&A 
15:20 – 15:30


Conclusion by the chair 

Learning Objectives

  1. To describe the role of pharmacists in humanitarian responses and projects
  2. To raise awareness of the challenges that medicines pose and pharmacists face in humanitarian responses
  3. To provide opportunities for networking among pharmacists with humanitarian work experience or an interest in this area
  4. To learn about several examples of humanitarian work during the COVID-19 pandemic
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