The Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe (PCNE) was established in 1994 and it became an official association (under Dutch law) in 2004.
Pharmaceutical Care is the pharmacist's contribution to the care of individuals, in order to optimize medicines use and improve health outcomes.
On the 11th of March 2020, the Council of Europe has accepted Resolution CM/Res(2020)3, on the implementation of pharmaceutical care for the benefit of patients and health services. The first section of the resolution defines pharmaceutical care as follows:
For the purpose of this resolution, Hepler’s and Strand’s definition of pharmaceutical care will be used.
According to the definition developed by Hepler and Strand, pharmaceutical care is “the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life” and it “involves the process through which a pharmacist co-operates with a patient and other professionals in designing, implementing and monitoring a therapeutic plan that will produce specific therapeutic outcomes for the patient”.
Pharmaceutical care directly and comprehensively addresses the medication needs of patients and their quality of life. In doing so, it contributes to the overall efforts of health care professionals in providing patient-centred care and in optimising medication use. Prescribers and nurses, who, together with pharmacists, are most often involved in responding to a patient’s medication needs, will benefit significantly from the introduction of pharmaceutical care. The focus of pharmaceutical care on interprofessional collaboration will also enhance team work and reduce medication-related harm, both of which are priorities for health services.
Pharmaceutical care should be envisaged as being in addition to the existing roles of pharmacists, such as the management of the supply chain and the provision of medication, including dispensing and quality assurance.
The principal elements of pharmaceutical care are the central role of the pharmacist, the patient-centred care approach, collaboration with carers, 3 prescribers and other health care professionals (integrated care), prevention, detection and resolution of medication-related problems, and taking responsibility for optimising medication use in order to improve a patient’s health outcomes and quality of life.