While hoping that this message finds all of you in good health in the New Year, we wish to remind you that every January is also time to renew your Chamber annual membership fee.

As in previous years, 2012 was a year full of meetings and challenges which the Chamber Council attended to so as to ensure a better future for all fields of practice in pharmacy.

Meanwhile the Chamber continued to strengthen its communication channels with its membership which continues to show a healthy growth.


POYC – the next 5 years

As expected, thrusts for the new POYC agreement were rather time consuming and intense throughout this year but this has now been brought to fruition and we strongly believe that   we have strengthened the position of the Chamber and its partners and significantly of community pharmacists whether proprietors or employed in general and of the further development of the POYC for the next 5 years. The Chamber will be holding informative and dialogue meetings to discuss further these developments looking also to the resolving of pending issues through the strengthening of the consultation process with the Government  in this private public partnership that is provided for by the new agreement.

The Chamber’s thrusts over the years has seen the ever increasing need for more pharmacists in various areas of practice, not least, in community pharmacies where the cry for locums is incessant.  Furthermore, POYC roll out has increased the demand for pharmacists and their services which is good from a professional stand point.  This has put the pharmacist at the forefront for negotiating better working conditions with employers. The POYC has also continued to roll out smoothly and the pharmacists’ feedback is positive.

At present your Chamber is working hard to resolve the present delivery situation envisaged by the POYC department in the ambit of the final rollout, and the two-way communication on- line and via your emails and calls are supportive of our efforts. All communications are taken note of.

An important meeting held already early this month was a meeting with the Director, Pharmaceutical Affairs on the Government Formulary list which addressed and clarified matters that impinge on the day to day practice of pharmacy in general and in its wider possible sense, both in public and private areas and in particular on the day to day delivery by pharmacists of a professional POYC service.



Chamber hosts Prime Minister, Dr. Lawrence Gonzi and Dr Simon Busuttil at the Chamber’s office in June 2012

Chamber’s priority issues were discussed in a face to face intensive meeting with the PM and Dr Simon Busuttil who was the then PM special envoy on social dialogue. This meeting was held at the Chamber’s invitation.

Chamber meets Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Joseph Muscat

Chamber ensured that its priority issues were also discussed with the Leader of the Opposition to hear and understand the PL’s vision for pharmacy.

(An article re this meeting was posted in the MEMBERS AREA)


Spring CPD seminars  –  extraordinary participation of the CPA President

The Spring 2012 Continuing Professional Development seminars this year focused on

‘A patient-centred Pharmaceutical Service in the Community’ and addressed access to treatment, POYC service with the participation of patients and family doctors, and a visionary shift in Patient centred care with the extraordinary participation of the president of the Commonwealth Pharmaceutical  Association, Mr. Raymond Andersen (Ireland). Mr. Andersen also gave an intensive seminar to the Chamber Council on Medicines Reviews and Prescribing Pharmacists.


Annual Graduates Event in July 2012

An important event in our pharmaceutical calendar.

Tomorrow’s pharmacists were hosted to a presentation on the Chamber.  The presentation was followed by a reception.  This event was held at the Professional Centre, Sliema Road, Gzira. The relations with the Malta Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (MPSA) were also strengthened.


Diabetes Awareness Campaign  in aid of L-Istrina  (November 2012) – another feather in our cap!

The next event which was rather time consuming was the organization and running of the Diabetes Awareness Campaign held in November in aid of l-Istrina.  We are proud to say that we managed to raise 3250 Euros during this campaign.  Pharmacists and Pharmacy students rose to the occasion and patients evidently availed themselves of the services offered.

A delegation of the Chamber presented the cheque to HE President George Abela on Thursday 24 January during a cordial meeting held at San Anton Palace.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated and contributed towards the success of this event.  We hope that this year there will be a still greater interest by pharmacists to volunteer participation in similar successful initiatives. We shall keep members posted on this matter.


Reporting to Government on EU Directives and national legislation affecting Pharmacy, Pharmacists and Medicines

The Chamber continued to study, monitor, discuss and report on EU directives and national legislation internationally at the level of the Pharmaceutical group of the European Union, EU commission through the MEUSAC and the relevant line ministries and Authorities. Major thrusts included expanding of the scope of the Pharmacists’ knowledge and activities in the EU Directive (2011/24/ EU) on the application of patients’ rights in Cross border health, in particular on the recognition of EU prescriptions and nationally, on the EU Better regulation exercise whereby several regulations were either deleted or updated to reduce the burden on community pharmacy practice, most recently on the Prescription and Dispensing Requirements.


National and International Representation

Chamber officials actively participated in the regular meetings and other activities of the MEUSAC, Malta Federation of Professional Associations, CMTU, Working Committee on Pricing of Medicines, POYC Standing Advisory Committee.

A Meeting with John Chave, PGEU Sec gen, who was in Malta in connection with  the annual conference of the European Generic Medicines Association was a significant occasion to update the Chamber on up to the minute developments at EU level and of our European counterpart on the developments in the local pharmaceutical arena.


Individual representation

The Chamber represented supported and advised several individual members on their work contracts, career advice, industrial relations. Legal, professional and ethical guidance. We are seeing a steady increase in the recent years of pharmacists consulting the Chamber on an individual level.


Public Awareness

Over the last year we have noted a rise in queries by the general public asking us on various issues be it medicines supply as well as entitlements issues on an individual level.  We attribute this to the broader use of the internet.  This means that our site is being viewed more and more by the general public.  We also get queries by foreign pharmacists on wanting to practice locally.  Each and every case is discussed at an individual level and most of the time the general public or foreign pharmacists are referred to the respective authorities.  Furthermore, campaigns like the one organised in November in aid of l-Istrina gave our website a lot of wanted publicity!


Funding – or rather the lack of it!

We would like to remind you that your Council consists of pharmacists who work for the profession on a voluntary basis and with extremely limited funds.  BUT we are present and you know this from the e-mails that you receive on a regular basis (unless of course your mailbox is full because in that case you might have missed a few!)

We conclude by making an appeal to you that without your membership fee we cannot carry on!  We need funds to pay legal expenses and maintain our affiliation  fees in the PGEU at European level and the Malta Federation of Professional Associations and CMTU on a national level. These affiliations ensure that the Chamber does not operate in isolation but particpates in continuous international and national dialogue. Please give us the strength and support to carry on by making your contribution.

We invite you to go to www.spizjara.org under CHAMBER – MEMBERSHIP area to view and benefits of membership as well as method on how to pay up your membership fee.


PS: Those pharmacists who received the password to access the article we posted in the MEMBERS AREA regarding the Meeting on the GFL with the DPA are requested to ignore this e-mail as they are considered as paid up members for 2013.  We take this opportunity to thank them!

We thank you for your ongoing support.