Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pharmacy Chamber in Dusseldorf

After a heated discussion during breakfast, we headed to Dusseldorf to visit their pharmacy chamber.  

Back in Dussesldorf

Made it to Dusseldorf Pharmacy Chamber

The Dusseldorf chamber President and Vice President introduced themselves and the chamber, as well as current projects they are working on.  The Chamber recently published results from a longitudinal study assessing medication risks for elderly patients in nursing homes.  A standardized risk management process was created to improve medication safety for elderly patients. 

The Chamber is also involved in a current project, Athina, which is a brown bag program focused on pharmacotherapy. 

The topic of continuing education for pharmacists in Germany was brought up.  Currently, continuing education is not required, but encouraged.  In the USA, pharmacists are required to complete 30 hours  of CE every two years.  Certificates are available for German pharmacists who complete CE every three years but this is not incentive enough. 

The Dusseldorf pharmacy chamber is supportive of further pharmacy research, in order to push the profession forward, but it has not been initiated. 

With the Dusseldorf Pharmacy Chamber President (2nd from right) and Vice President (left)

After discussion we headed to lunch at the oldest restaurant in Dusseldorf!

Off to Dresden Part 2

After breakfast, we had a discussion about what we learned during Berlin week (since Josh was not present in Berlin because he got sick from the botanical garden in Munster).  

Josh asked us to create a presentation comparing the G-BA (Germany's Federal Joint Commission) to systems in the United States, mainly PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers).  There are more differences than similarities, and we had an enjoyable discussion about how and if something similar to the G-BA could be implemented in the USA. 

Discussing the G-BA

After lunch from Ms Biester, we headed via 1-hour bus and 7-hour train to Dresden.  It was a lot of travel, ending with a near-sprint to the A&O hostel to check in and pass out for the night. 

Tuesday morning, we boarded a tram and bus for the University of Dresden Hospital Pharmacy to meet with clinical pharmacists.  After an introduction, we received a tour of the pharmacy.

Entrance to the pharmacy's clean room

Inpatient pharmacy

The next two hours we split into groups of two students with one pharmacist, to get a better feel for what the pharmacists do in a German hospital.  The pharmacist Julia, who Dipali and I spent time with in the urology unit, pointed out how much paper is used for documentation in the hospital (compared to more electronic records, profiles and prescribing she expects there is in the USA).  Julia spoke about the lack of infrastructure or reinforcement within hospital pharmacy regarding the way things are (like policies and protocols in the USA), as well as issues such as discharge medications from hospital setting, and not enough work being done to combat antibiotic resistance. 

Heading to the urology unit with pharmacist Julia

After two hours with the hospital pharmacists, we discussed more about hospital pharmacy, and then headed for lunch at a university hospital cafe. 

With the hospital pharmacists at Dresden University Hospital

Next came more trams, busses, and trains to get back to Velbert by around 10 PM.