Press Release

O´Malley addresses Pharmaceutical Society´s Annual Conference

Mr. Tim O´Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children today (19th October, 2002) addressed the Gala Dinner of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

In his address Minister O´Malley referred to the conference´s theme – “Primary Care”, to developments in undergraduate pharmacy education and to a new Pharmacy Bill.

“The Primary Care Strategy is about building on the strengths of the different service providers, in order to bring about an integrated and much-improved service to consumers and patients. Community pharmacists can contribute in many ways to the delivery of this improved service, especially given their high level of interaction with both service providers and the public,” said the Minister.

Until recently, the University of Dublin, Trinity College, provided the only undergraduate degree course in pharmacy. As a result of increasing demand for pharmacists, highlighted in the Bacon Report of November 1999, the Department of Education and Science, the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Health and Children have been working to increase the number of training places.

“I am confident that the much needed expansion of undergraduate pharmacy places facilitated by the new school in Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and, hopefully before too long, UCC, will help to address the shortage of pharmacists that is currently being experienced,” said the Minister.

The Minister said that work is underway in the Department in relation to the preparation of proposals for a new Pharmacy Bill. There is general agreement that new legislation is required to update and consolidate the existing law. Four discussion papers from the Society have been submitted to the Department for consideration. These deal with areas ranging from the role and function of the Society itself, accountability, education and training, to the provision of community pharmacy. The Minister assured the Society that their proposals would be taken into account in the development of the framework for the new legislation.