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|Formation||25 August 1949|
|Type||International non-governmental organisation|
|English, Arabic, French, Spanish|
The International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF) is a non-governmental, non-political and non-religious organisation that represents pharmaceutical students, pharmacy students and recent graduates from all over the world. It was founded in 1949 and it is the oldest faculty-based student organisation. IPSF represents over 500,000 individuals in more than 100 countries with 127 different representative pharmacy student member organisations.
Every pharmaceutical student, pharmacy student and recent graduates up to four years after receiving their degree may become a member of the Federation individually, or via a representative organisation of pharmacy students.
The Federation has engaged in the following areas: pharmacy education, public health, professional development, advocacy, cultural awareness, and partnerships developing pharmacists worldwide.
The IPSF Team is entirely student-run and is composed of more than 150 volunteers.
IPSF holds official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). IPSF works in close collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). The IPSF Secretariat is supported and hosted by FIP in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The idea of forming IPSF came in 1948 from then-Secretary of the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association, Stephen B. Challen, during the 6th Annual Congress of BPSA. The Constitution of the Federation was agreed and signed on the 25th of August 1949, during the Inaugural Conference in London, and marking the organisation's founding date. On the same day, Sidney J. Relph, was elected as the first President of IPSF along with 4 other Executive Committee members.
IPSF offers several types of memberships. For organisations, these are:
Every organisation wishing to join IPSF must first become a Member in Association.
To become a Full Member, the organisation has had to have been a (MiA) for at least one year while also being nationally representative of pharmacy students in a given country. However, according to IPSF Official Documents, if the national organisation does not wish to attain Full Membership, another organisation of any size from the same country may apply. The application and acceptance procedure is then very much the same as for the MiAs.
IPSF also offers individuals to become part of IPSF on their own, should they so desire. An individual may become one of the following:
Individual Membership is reserved for pharmacy and pharmaceutical science students or recent graduates up to four years after graduating from their first degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences.
On the other hand, any individual who wishes to contribute to the advancement of the aims of the Federation to the best of their capabilities, may become a Friend of the Federation. They are thus considered to be affiliated individuals of the Federation.
Lastly, IPSF also recognises exceptional individuals who have contributed greatly to the status and the goals of the Federation. These are:
Honorary Life Members are elected at the annual IPSF World Congress. They must be nominated by two organisations and must be accepted by the General Assembly.
Alumni are, like Friends of the Federation, affiliated individuals of IPSF. To become an Alumni, the individual has to have been one of the following:
To be recognised as an Alumnus and if the criteria are met, IPSF Membership Coordinator should be contacted by the interested individual to receive the Alumni Form.
The IPSF Executive consists of 15 elected members:
President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, Chairperson of Public Health, Chairperson of Media and Publications, Chairperson of Pharmacy Education, Chairperson of Professional Development, Chairperson of Internal Relations, Chairperson of External Relations, Chairperson of Student Exchange and Regional Chairpersons. The Executive also includes co-opted members - President-elect and the Chairperson of the Congress Reception Committee. Executive Committee members serve the Federation as volunteers with one Executive member designated as the Permanent Officer to work full-time at the IPSF Headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands.
IPSF has committees to help and supervise the working of the Executive Committee.
The IPSF Regional Office is a functional extension of the IPSF Executive structured by elected pharmacy students from IPSF member countries of a specific IPSF region, forming Regional Working Group. Its mission shall be to advance and support the aims and objectives of the Federation at regional level.
The main activity of the World Congress is the General Assembly, where the elections of the Executive Committee happen, approval of reports, changes to the Official Documents, and any matter from the members or Executive Committee take place.
The Federation runs several projects during the year, mainly on Pharmacy Education, Professional Development, Public Health and on Student Exchange. Some of those projects are made and implemented by IPSF alone, and others depend on the active participation of member organisations.
The Pharmacy Education Portfolio focuses on promoting and developing pharmacy education worldwide, a critical objective of the Federation. A key partner of this portfolio in helping meet its objectives is FIPEd (FIP Education Initiative). The main projects are:
The Pharmacy Education Portfolio has two main publications:
The main competitions include the Poster Competition, held during IPSF Official Events, and the Critical Essay competition, held in collaboration with FIPed. Information regarding the posters, such as size, format and subject are shared with the Contact Persons and in the call for abstracts prior the event. This information will also be made available on the IPSF website.
The Pharmacy Education Portfolio undertakes various research projects. The opportunities may be for direct involvement or for collaborating on sharing and promoting the project.
The Federation releases calls for Internships with several partners, such as the World Health Organization, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, International Pharmaceutical Federation among others. These calls are shared with the Contact Persons and with IPSF students through the website and the Facebook Page. Each call may contain different criteria, as criteria pertains to the specific internship.
IPSF is committed to ensuring quality pharmacy education and promoting the role of the pharmacist. Professional Development involves the process of active participation in formal and informal learning activities that assist individuals in developing and maintaining continuing competence, enhancing their professional practice, supporting the achievements of their career goals, and optimising health outcomes as an integral member of the health professional team.
Through professional skills workshops and competitions, pharmacy awareness campaigns and leadership training opportunities, IPSF strives to enhance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by pharmacy professionals and students for their future practice.
The Patient Counselling Event (PCE) aims to demonstrate the importance of communication and counselling skills for pharmacists, increase the awareness of pharmacists as public educators, and encourage and promote the development of the pharmacy profession through an expanded scope of practice.
IPSF held their first Patient Counselling Event at a congress in 1989 and today, the PCE is held at every IPSF World Congress, IPSF Regional Symposia and by many of our member organisations under the Professional Development portfolio. The main objectives for the Patient Counselling Event are to promote training in communication skills, provide an opportunity for pharmacy students and pharmacists to learn how to effectively interact with patients, determine and address any drug therapy problems, and educate patients on many medications and disease states in a fun and competitive environment.
The IPSF Clinical Skills Event (CSE) provides educational opportunities for members from across the globe to enhance and demonstrate their clinical pharmaceutical knowledge. The purpose of this event is to increase pharmacy students' awareness of the importance of the pharmacist's role in direct patient care. Individuals and teams compete by demonstrating their skills in assessing patient information and current therapy, identifying and prioritising drug therapy problems, identifying treatment goals, and recommending a pharmaceutical care plan.
This activity is an interactive, individual or team-based analysis of clinical scenarios for hospital/health-system pharmacists and is open to all students ranging from first year students to recent graduates.
The Compounding Event (CE) was created to highlight the importance and the necessity of compounding skills within the pharmacy profession, especially as we are moving towards personalised medicine in health care. This event was first introduced at the 59th IPSF World Congress in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2013. The Compounding Event has four main objectives:
The CE generally has two levels of difficulty — beginner and advanced — and typically begins with an introductory workshop. Following the workshop, students will be given a case and will be challenged to determine the best method to compound the formulation and prepare a finished product.
Marketing Skills Event/Industrial Skills Event (MSE/ISE)
These are the newest development events which created for first time in 2018 to highlight the importance of these skills and open eyes of pharmacy students on these fields.
The Pharmacy Profession Advocacy Campaign (PPAC) is aimed at educating the public, policy makers, and other health care professionals about the role pharmacists play as an integral part of the health care team. It aims to provide insight on the daily functions of pharmacists from various sectors, and to promote awareness of the pharmacy profession at all levels, from students and recent graduates, to the general public.
The IPSF Leaders in Training program aims to impart the necessary leadership and management skills important for taking up professional roles in the future. The main objective of the LIT program is to equip participants with the skills needed to effectively take on roles of responsibility within the Federation as well as in their professional career. These include global roles in health issues, policy making and the pharmacy profession itself.
From the point of a sustainable all round development of personality, Leaders in Training tries to impart skills such as general leadership responsibilities, strategic planning, project management, teamwork, time management, communication and public speaking, advocacy, etc.
The training is delivered by IPSF's Certified Trainers, as well as members of the IPSF Executive Committee to ensure enough acquaintance to IPSF. The Leaders in Training program is held every year prior to the IPSF World Congress in addition to some of the IPSF Regional Symposia and also locally within some of our Member Organisations.
The IPSF Trainers Development Camp aims to develop a high quality and sustainable training program for pharmaceutical students and recent graduates worldwide. To maintain our leadership programs to an exceptional standard and provide sustainable future leadership within IPSF, we need to produce quality trainers to pass down this information. The IPSF TDC provides participants with a background on experience-based learning and equips them with the necessary skills set to prepare and conduct training sessions. IPSF certified trainers are then able to deliver training sessions and workshops within the Leaders in Training program and other educational events (IPSF Regional Symposia, IPSF World Congress, etc.).
IPSF strives to engage Member Organisations in initiatives that positively influence health and health knowledge within their communities. The Federation plays an active role in promoting and implementing Public Health activities and its work is greatly aided by its collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The Federation currently holds six focuses, divided into Health Awareness, Medicine Awareness, and Humanitarian categories.
In 1987, the World Health Organization (WHO) dedicated December 1 to raise awareness for of HIV and for the AIDS pandemic. As a partner of WHO, IPSF organisations across the globe organise every year an HIV/AIDS campaign aimed at spreading awareness about HIV, how it is transmitted as well as the methods of prevention.
Along with its partner, the WHO, IPSF celebrates World Tobacco Day on the 31 May. On this day, IPSF members educate their society about the consequences of consuming tobacco and its derivatives. The goal of the Tobacco Alert campaign, is to make young individuals aware of the dangers of tobacco and involve them in the fight against it in order to decrease the use of tobacco.
The Diabetes and Healthy Living Campaign, launched in August 2005, aims to raise awareness of a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent and control diabetes and to encourage pro-active rather than reactive health habits. To celebrate World Diabetes Day on November 14, IPSF motivates its organisations to collaborate with interdisciplinary organisations from different health care practitioners in order to plan the campaign. During the campaign, IPSF members put their knowledge into practice in order to inform people about diabetes and the risk factors that can accelerate and the steps that can be taken to limit the development and progression of the disease. As part of this Campaign, IPSF participates in Healthy Living activities on World Health Day each April 7. In 1950, the World Health Organisation's assembly declared April 7 as World Health Day to commemorate the first World Health Assembly that happened on that same day in 1948. This was to honour the founding of the World Health Organization and to raise worldwide attention to its global health campaigns.
In 1996, the WHO joined hands with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD). In 2000, the Stop TB Partnership was formed by network of organisations and countries in order to fight against tuberculosis (TB). The goal of this partnership is to eradicate TB by 2050. IPSF organizes initiatives and strongly advocates for this campaign in order to raise awareness about tuberculosis. On March 24, the official world TB day, multiple IPSF organisations organise a TB awareness campaign in their home countries, where they share their knowledge as pharmacists and as pharmacy students and educate the population on the dangers of tuberculosis.
According to a WHO announcement, the existence of substandard, spurious, falsely labelled, falsified and counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products is an unacceptable risk to public health.
The Anti-Counterfeit Drug Campaign (ACDC) works towards helping healthcare students create advocacy campaigns in their countries to help combat the problems of counterfeit and substandard medications. IPSF in collaboration with other stakeholders and organisations tends to act against the unlimited growing of fake medicines by raising awareness and advocacy actions.
The Medicine Awareness Campaign's goal is to improve awareness among healthcare students and other students about medications in different aspects. In this portfolio subjects such as Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), rational use of medicines, drug abuse, drug disposal and any other issues related to medication are addressed.
A related campaign is the "Drug disposal campaign", in which IPSF focusses on the effect of unstandardized methods of drug disposal in the environment. It encourages its participants to raise awareness of healthcare systems, advocacy campaigns and events for drug disposal in community pharmacies.
Launched in 2011, the Vampire Cup is an international blood donation competition among all IPSF organisations. By participating in the Vampire Cup, members are motivated to compete in inter organisational competitions, to promote international relationships, and most importantly to save lives. There are two competitions: the Regular Vampire Cup and the Live Vampire Cup. In both cases, the organisations need to submit a registration form and a tracker form by the given deadlines. The Live Vampire Cup occurs on specific days decided by the IPSF team. Traditionally, the days chosen are around World Blood Donor Day, June 14.
The WHO Executive Board has 34 members with technical qualifications that are designated by Member States and are elected to serve by the World Health Assembly. The main functions of the Board are to implement the decisions and policies of the Assembly, and to advise and facilitate its work.
During the month of January, the Executive Board discusses and agrees to the agenda for the Assembly, and to adopt resolutions which will be considered during the Assembly.
Every year, representatives from IPSF attend the Executive Board Meeting to identify what priority issues will be discussed and to determine where IPSF can contribute in the development of interventions. It is also through this opportunity that IPSF builds connections with different Member State actors.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization. It is annually attended by delegations from all WHO Member States, as well as Non-State Actors. It focuses on the specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
The main functions of the WHA are:
Every year, IPSF calls for its members to be part of its delegation to attend the WHA during the month of May in Geneva, Switzerland. The selected members are then oriented and trained on how they can actively participate and effectively engage in deliberations, discussions and events, in order for IPSF to establish new partnerships and sustain existing connections with various stakeholders, and to develop collaborative projects and programs.
Student Exchange Programme (SEP) is IPSF's largest project, offering professional pharmacy internships. Every year, more than 900 students from around the world are given the opportunity to experience the practice of pharmacy in any one of the 65 participating countries.
The Student Exchange Programme therefore enables a cultural exchange between pharmacy students around the world by sharing knowledge and experiences.
The 74 member Organisations of IPSF involved in SEP organise the exchanges by finding host sites where the students are trained. The programme runs throughout the year (Winter version and Summer version), but the majority of the exchanges take place between May and September.
The duration is usually 1 to 3 months with a minimum of 60 working hours per exchange. Possible host sites include:
The host may also provide room, board and/or pocket money in addition to the training site in order to help the applicant.
The SEP is organised by:
The Official Events of the Federation are the World Congress and the Regional Symposia – They happen yearly and are defined two years in advance and they do not overlap. The full costs for participating in the IPSF events are on the participant (Tickets and registration fee).
The Registration Fee is defined by the host, and it cannot be more than 45 euros per day.
The host, after being elected at the General Assembly or Regional Assembly, appoints a Reception Committee (RC) – A committee that will be in charge of organising the event, along with the Executive Committee. Before the event, the RC can appoint a Helping Committee (HC) to add human resources to help complete the work.
The head of the organisation, the “Chairperson of World Congress/Regional Symposium” is co-opted in the Executive Committee/Regional Working Group for the term of the office in which the event will be held.
Other annex events that may be held at the World Congress or Regional Symposium are the Leaders in Training and the Post Congress Tour.
The World Congress is the main event of the Federation and it usually lasts for 10 days. It has been held annually since 1961. The first conference was in London, United Kingdom, in 1949 and the first congress happened in Mosney, Ireland, in 1957.
The first World Congress held outside of Europe was in the African Regional Office in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1974. The Pan American Regional Office then hosted their first congress in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1977. The Eastern Mediterranean Region followed with in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1984. The Asia Pacific Regional Office then hosted their first congress in Singapore in 2003.
Every World Congress hosts these events and activities:
The main activity of the World Congress is the General Assembly, which holds the elections of the Executive Committee, the approval of reports, the changes to the official documents and the other various matters of the members or Executive Committee.
Today, all Regional Offices organise an annual Regional Symposium, which usually last for 7 days.
The only mandatory activities of the Regional Symposia are the Regional Assemblies. However, they usually resemble the World Congress.
IPSF awards a number of grants throughout the year to help ensure that students and member organisations can fully participate in IPSF events despite financial barriers.
Four types of grants are awarded over the year. Two are for by member organisations and two are for individual student members. Grants are awarded based on the submitted applications and the review by the IPSF Treasurer, the Development Fund Coordinator and the Development Fund Committee.
The Membership Grant is made available to Full Member organisations and to Members in Association who have been members of IPSF for at least one year. Any such organisation facing financial difficulties, if awarded a grant, may have their annual membership fees waived for the year.
An organisation can only apply for the Membership Grant twice every three years. If awarded, the organisation is expected to complete at least one IPSF project, excluding SEP, in the 12 months following the receipt of the grant. In addition, the organisation is expected to submit an article to be published in an IPSF publication.
The Project Grant is made available to Full Member Organisations and Members in Association planning to undertake a project or campaign and could benefit from financial assistance.
Appropriate projects are not strictly defined, but they should benefit the members of the applying organisation or the public, and should be relevant to a current IPSF campaign or project.
The Event Grant is designed to better allow pharmacy students facing financial barriers to attend an IPSF event. Students intending to attend the IPSF World Congress or one of the Regional Symposia should submit an application to the Development Fund Committee.
The criteria for a successful application generally focuses on financial need including, but not limited to, cost of travel, visa, registration fee, personal resources, and World Bank economic classification of applying member's country.
The objective of the Student Exchange Grant is to allow pharmacy students with limited financial resources the opportunity to participate in the IPSF Student Exchange Programme.
The SEP Grant may cover part of the travel expenses (bus, train or plane tickets) from the applicant's home country to the country in which the exchange occurs and the SEP fee. The maximum monetary value of the grant is approximately 1000 euros and if the actual costs incurred are less than the awarded grant, only the amount of the actual costs will be paid.
The grant will be paid only after completion of the exchange and the submission of the required documents. In addition, the applicant's student exchange fee will be returned to the respective member organisation or to the applicant, in the case of an individual membership.
Eligible candidates must be currently studying for their pharmacy undergraduate degree (first pharmacy degree) or must be a recent graduate of their first pharmacy degree (up to four years after the date of their graduation). An applicant may be an IPSF member through an IPSF Member Organisation (Full Member or Member in Association) or as an Individual Member (currently undergraduate or recent graduate of their first pharmacy degree).