Measles cases in the EU treble in 2017

Today’s National Broadcaster TVM reported yet again that there has been a measles epidemic outbreak in Sicily leaving three dead. Click here to read more.

On the other hand here under, is an earlier article which was published in TOM last February.


The number of measles cases in the EU has trebled in just one year, according to the European Centre for Disease Control. In 2017, 14,451 measles cases were reported, three times the number of cases reported in 2016 (4 643). The highest number of measles cases to date in the EU since January 1,…

Source: Measles cases in the EU treble in 2017

Pharmacy-Based Interventions to Increase Vaccine Uptake

A delegation from the Malta Chamber of Pharmacists Council was invited by the European Interdisciplinary Council of Ageing (EICA) to attend a conference in San Servolo, Venice 14-16 March re Pharmacy Based Interventions to Increase Vaccine Uptake.


Community pharmacists from around 20 countries worldwide gathered in Venice to discuss “Pharmacy-based interventions to increase vaccine uptake” with other stakeholders. The presentations included an evidence-based review of the most recent immunization research. In addition there was an opportunity for faculty to exchange best practice experiences and discuss opportunities  for further expansion in pharmacist scope globally.

The evidence has clearly shown that in those countries where pharmacists have vaccination administration authority; like Canada, USA, UK, Ireland and Portugal, immunization coverage rates are higher than in those countries lacking this scope. Examples of countries now planning to move forward with the educational training, legal restructuring, and advocacy efforts required to expand pharmacist scope include Estonia, Lithuania, Croatia, Spain and Malta. Greece was an example of an interesting situation where 90% of the flu shots are administered by pharmacist, while the law has yet to recognize this expanded authority. This situation arose because it is widely recognised that the pharmacist is the most accessible healthcare professional, often located in rural areas and available without an appointment. Those countries that have low immunization rates would definitely benefit from additional participation by pharmacists.

Part of the meeting focused on discussing the barriers and facilitators for implementing immunization programs in community pharmacies. Overcoming these barriers is instrumental in achieving WHO targets. Support from representative organisations, both at the National and international level, including the PGEU (Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union) and FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation), was recognised as an important facilitator.  These groups are required to help raise public awareness, to provide education and training, and to facilitate a positive  legislative environment.   Immunization is an important public health issue and pharmacists can have a dramatic impact if allowed to participate in administration programs.

EICA 2018 pic PGEU FIP

President, Ms. Mary Ann Sant Fournier, PRO & Treasurer Ms. Claire Calleja and Member Ms. Mary Anne Ciappara with PGEU Vice President – Ms. Kristiina Sepp, FIP  Professional Development and Advocacy Manager – Mr Gonçalo Sousa Pinto and Hungarian Chamber of Pharmacists – Mr Attila HORVÁTH-SZIKLAI


The grass is not greener on the same side of the law – The Malta Independent

Medicalising the grass and sanctioning weed for enjoyment is top agenda. The momentum seems to have reached the point of oblivion and what has been proven to interfere with higher order brain function

Source: The grass is not greener on the same side of the law – The Malta Independent

Pharmacists, a rare species? – Mary Ann Sant Fournier

The pharmacy degree is unique in its generalist nature. Our pharmacist graduates are versatile in that they can take up posts in various areas of practice. These are community, hospital, responsible pharmacists at wholesale dealers, in pharmaceutical industry, including pharmaceutical marketing,…

Source: Pharmacists, a rare species? – Mary Ann Sant Fournier

Medical marijuana ‘not a wonder drug’, ‘will not fill a void in the medicine market’ – MAM – The Malta Independent

The introduction of medical marijuana will not fill a gap which does not currently exist in the medicine market, the Malta Assocation of Medicine (MAM) said this morning, explaining that the

Source: Medical marijuana ‘not a wonder drug’, ‘will not fill a void in the medicine market’ – MAM – The Malta Independent

Want to see how many calories you’re consuming this Christmas?

Obesity is one of the most common health concerns in Malta, and two university students have exposed just how we tend to stuff our faces over the Christmas period through a 40-second video. Bad eating habits persist throughout the year, however, over the festive season, even the healthiest people…

Source: Want to see how many calories you’re consuming this Christmas?

WADA publishes 2018 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (September 29, 2017)

Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the 2018 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List); along with, the 2018 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes. The List, which was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee on 24 September 2017, comes into force on 1 January 2018.

Community Pharmacists in Malta and Gozo are asked to refer to the attached list when dispensing medicines to athletes. Please click here to download the list.

Source: WADA publishes 2018 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (September 29, 2017)