Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) pose one of the greatest health risks for humanity, demanding new answers and creative solutions from health systems and healthcare professionals, according to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). In a Statement of Policy published today, FIP makes clear the value of pharmacists in the global fight against NCDs.
“This policy statement renews the commitment of the pharmacy profession to the prevention of NCDs, and the optimal detection and care of patients living with NCDs,” said Ms Eeva Teräsalmi, FIP vice president and chair of its NCD Policy Committee.
“There are a number of NCDs, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer and mental illness, for which there is strong evidence of the role and vital importance of the pharmacist in patient care. Pharmacists can provide focused interventions, specialised counselling and care coordination, improving patient engagement to achieve better outcomes,” Ms Teräsalmi explained.
FIP’s 144 national member organisations across 103 countries and territories adopted the new policy statement earlier this week, which describes a number of ways in which the burden of NCDs may be reduced. Prevention and control of NCDs require interventions that are cost-effective, affordable by the patient and/or health systems and feasible, based on patient-specific factors as well as local resources, FIP says.
In particular, the statement urges governments to develop strategies and health programmes for the prevention and management of NCDs where the role of pharmacists is defined, recognised and enabled, and to promote and set the conditions for interprofessional cooperation, and increased integration of community pharmacies within the primary care network. There is a specific need for programmes integrating pharmacists, which can tackle poor adherence to longterm therapies in patients with NCDs, the policy statement adds.