‘Partnering for Purpose’ was the theme for this year’s conference
The seventh annual conference of Sigma Pharmaceuticals was recently held in Aamby Valley City. The conference was attended by 315 delegates with over 200 individual businesses represented, together with key pharma suppliers.
The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Partnering for Purpose.’ The key messages delivered by all the speakers took advantage of the partnering theme to remind pharmacists about the need to address the all-important issue of patient outcomes. Delegates were advised to stop thinking like shop owners, instead, to be transformed into bona fide healthcare businesses with a professional eye on patient healthcare at its focus.
The conference was represented from a wide spectrum of pharmacy and healthcare professionals, ranging from dignitaries like Earl Howe who insisted that pharmacy had ‘undoubtedly turned a corner’ in making healthcare commissioners aware of the role it can play in alleviating the pressure on a strained NHS. Howe went on to say how community pharmacies might consider re-engineering themselves to ensure that their contribution continues to be of direct relevance to the NHS and keeping the best that pharmacy has to offer.”
Innovators like Hemant Patel presented the case for ‘Self Care’ pharmacy programmes and how patients could be empowered to work more closely with pharmacy in defining health outcomes based on a self care model without abdicating from a responsible means of delivering this form of treatment.
Kumar Iyer, Deputy British High Commissioner, India, described the relationship between the UK and India as ‘phenomenal’ and insisted that the strength of the partnership was being played out in the pharma and life sciences sectors. He was highly supportive of the work that the UK pharmacy has undertaken so far and conveyed to the conference delegates that the UK government is fully supportive of pharma involvement in India.
Sue Sharpe and Mike Dent presented PSNC’s position by reassuring pharmacists that the negotiating body wants to achieve equality with general practice when it comes to remuneration for services. Dent warned contractors to ensure they get to grips with what he described as ‘a much more complicated’ funding model than pharmacy has been used to but was adamant that when it came to securing funding, pharmacy would not be left trailing behind the GPs.’
As always, the IPF, headed by Fin McCaul and Claire Ward, were outspoken about their passion to light the fire for change in pharmacy and to inspire the delegates to move forward into a future that is built on the foundation of good service delivery and professionalism. Claire said, “The future for pharmacy is to put itself in a modern age and to go back to a time when it was at the heart of the community, not simply dispensing medicine.”
Salutary messages from David Cameron, Prime Minister, UK, and Ed Milliband, Leader of Labour Party, were read out. Both commented on the crucial role that pharmacy continues to play in the UK.
EP News Bureau – Mumbai