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Update on International Pharmaceutical Federation engagement with World Health Organisation

The PDA joined FIP to seek out the very best ideas from a much larger international network for the benefit of PDA members. This latest update from FIP President, Dominique Jordan, explains FIP’s engagement with the World Health organisation (WHO).

Mon 6th February 2023 The PDA

Through participation in FIP activity, the PDA and individual members of the PDA not only get to learn from international colleagues, they have the chance to contribute to the international conversation about pharmacy too. The collective views of individual pharmacists can also pass through FIP to international discussions and ultimately to the World Health Organisation, if appropriate. 

FIP President Dominique Jordan’s latest update, explains how FIP have status as a ‘Non-Governmental Organisations in Official Relations with WHO’  and how that means the voice of pharmacists is heard at the global level.  Read Dominique’s message below:

The 152nd World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board is currently in session, having started last week. The WHO is the intergovernmental agency directing and coordinating international health matters and belonging to the United Nations family. This year, it will be 75 years old, which also means 75 years of continuous official relations between FIP and the WHO, since our special status started when the WHO was established.

Over the years FIP has made considerable strides in its partnership with the WHO in order to expand initiatives towards achieving our vision (a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health technologies, as well as from pharmaceutical care) and our common ultimate goal — improved well-being and health for all. In 2019 we strengthened our partnership with the WHO around workforce, patient safety, primary health care and other areas with the signing of a memorandum of understanding, and last year our three-yearly official status was renewed.

Due to our “Non-Governmental Organisations in Official Relations with WHO” status, FIP can speak at the meetings of the organisation’s governing bodies. As in past years, FIP has been speaking at the WHO Executive Board. Last week, we gave statements on:

Substandard and falsified (SF) medical products
Universal Health Coverage (UHC; constituency statement with the World Health Professions Alliance [WHPA] organisations)
Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies (as part of the WHPA)

On SF medicines, we highlighted that pharmacists, as primary health care professionals with medicines expertise, are at the forefront of the fight against these harmful products. We also drew attention to a collaboration with the WHO to create a university course on fake medicines that was successfully piloted and called for further implementation beyond this pilot.

On UHC, we asserted that one of the vital concrete steps is adequate and sustainably financed health workforce development with a focus on integrated service delivery for primary health care (PHC). You can find out more about FIP’s PHC commitment and work here.

On emergency preparedness, we emphasised that continuity of essential health services during health emergencies requires measures to avoid exhaustion and mental health trauma and ensuring access to personal protective equipment  and vaccines for health workers everywhere.

During this WHO Executive Board, it was clear that COVID-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern and the outbreak remains a global health emergency. It was also interesting to hear that, for the first time in its history, the WHO has reached overall gender parity for staff across all appointment types and categories of position.

Our official status with the WHO means that FIP is in a unique position to advocate for pharmacists’, pharmaceutical scientists’, and pharmacy educators’ roles in the global health agenda. Under this relationship we also work together on a number of projects, including, recently, a curriculum guide to support educators in ensuring that pharmacists are better able to prevent substandard or falsified (SF) medicines and medical products from reaching patients. We look forward to more such key collaborations with WHO.

Opening the board meeting last week, WHO Director General Dr Tedros described “5 Ps”: Promoting, Providing, Protecting, Powering and Performing for health. We add a further P: Pharmacy! This is exactly what pharmacists are doing. Rest assured that FIP will continue to support global health, support our profession and support you in this work.



Dominique Jordan

President, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)



Get involved in FIP

PDA members can get more involved in FIP activity because the PDA have joined the federation, options include:

  • Sharing your experiences through FIP surveys
  • Taking part in FIP Digital Events
  • Lending your knowledge and expertise to FIP forums/committees/working groups
  • Engaging with FIP’s sections and special interest groups
  • Participating in FIP World Pharmacists Day (25 September), FIP World Pharmacy Week (19-25 September), and other health campaigns
  • Attending FIP’s 81st World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (24-28 September), which will focus on building a sustainable future for health care.

Learn more

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.



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