On the 30th of September, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Japan Pharmaceutical Association (JPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the 2015 International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany, to support developing a long-term collaborative partnership between the RPS and JPA.
The memorandum serves to provide a framework to develop a collaborative relationship between the RPS and JPA for the benefit of members of both organisations towards the improvement of patient services with medicines and pharmaceutical public health. The memorandum is an important step forward for the RPS and JPA to build a basis for collaborative activities in pharmacy practice which will have an impact on the implementation of the evidence-based pharmaceutical care delivery associated with national specific population health needs.
The collaboration will initially focus on two main projects: (1) a policy review comparison between the UK and Japan so that sharing the best practices can take place; and (2) sharing professional development frameworks for enhancing pharmacy workforce development. The RPS Director of Professional Development and Support (Dr Catherine Duggan) and the JPA Chair of International Affairs Committee (Professor Shigeo Yamamura) will assume day-to-day responsibility, on behalf of the RPS and JPA. The appointed collaborative project team will produce an annual report on progress, on which next steps of the collaborative relationship will be built.
Mr Ashok Soni OBE, President of the RPS, remarked that this was “a significant step in demonstrating that international cooperation is both possible and desirable; our respective pharmaceutical workforces both stand to gain considerably through sharing of expertise and tackling common challenges with care delivery and workforce development. It is an outstanding example of joint leadership further uniting both national associations”.
Mr Nobuo Yamamoto, President of the JPA, welcomed this initiative, saying “I believe we have a common aim of pharmacists concerning population health, although there are some differences in pharmaceutical practices and policies between both countries. In taking this opportunity, we would like to endeavour to improve professional roles and skills of pharmacists through mutual cooperation, moving beyond the differences in practices and policies and learning from our commonalities and opportunities for development”.
Prof William Charman, Chair of FIP Education Initiative, said "The recently launched RPS Vision for the workforce is an impressive document that advances and re-frames aspects of our practice in the context of patients and the broader healthcare community. The FIP Education Initiative, and pharmacy member organisations globally, will undoubtedly emulate aspects of this unique piece of work in the context of their practice and societal needs."
The signing event was held during the RPS Reception at the 75th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Dusseldorf, and the Memorandum was signed by Presidents of both organisations, Mr Ashok Soni OBE (RPS) and Mr Nobuo Yamamoto (JPA), together with RPS Chief Executive, Mrs Helen Gordon and JPA Vice President, Professor Hiroshi Suzuki. The collaborative project team has currently prepared project plans on agreed areas under the Memorandum.