Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe

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.

Conferences Working groups

Special PCNE Newsletter 2-2020



VOLUME 15 I NUMBER 2                                              July 2020
Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe

Chairperson's editorial

Dear Friends,

On the 18th July, Foppe van Mil, Founder and Professional Secretary of PCNE, sadly passed away. Foppe, who died two days after celebrating his 70th birthday, was a global leader in pharmaceutical care.

This edition of the newsletter is dedicated to his memory, and I thank all the members who kindly sent some words and pictures.

I can’t quite remember whether I met Foppe at my first PCNE Working Conference, at my first ESCP Symposium, or at the FIP Congress. What I do remember, is that he was always there, when it came to discuss pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical care.

I grew up in my professional life, in awe with what he represented. It was impossible to hear or speak about pharmaceutical care without Foppe being involved in some way. In teaching, practicing, measuring, reporting back, writing about it, sharing. He was a good friend and mentor to many of us, and he will be sorely missed.

We can only hope we can carry on his legacy.

Rest In Peace, my dear friend. 

Ema Paulino, PCNE Chairperson



Some people have a star guiding their life that makes them have unique experiences. I am one of those people. I consider myself extremely lucky in life because I have already had a handful of people or events that profoundly marked my life for the better. One of those people was Foppe van Mil. I first came across him when following a MSc in pharmaceutical care in the University of Lisbon (1998/99) and was lucky enough to sit at one of his lecture where he explained what pharmaceutical care was, highlighting the different terminologies, explaining the need and rationale for developing drug-related problems classifications  and then providing some practical examples of how these new concepts (to me and probably to all my colleagues in the class) applied to his daily practice. I was really motivated to make the same in my mother’s pharmacy but was aware that a long road was ahead. Some months later I had to select my thesis topic and a supervisor; I wanted to have a special one, not those supervisors that everybody chooses just because they are head of departments and have a great CV. I wanted one that would teach me, would devote time to me and make me improve in research and practice skills. I never thought then I would become academic and just wanted to be able to apply concepts to improve practice. I had been reading some papers on asthma and decided the theme. I then missed the supervisor, so after consulting other professors, and explaining what I was looking for, I had two possible names. I started by sending Foppe an email asking if he would have time and the answer was as simple as “why don’t you come to my house over the weekend, we discuss some ideas and then we write up your protocol together?” That was the beginning of a long history of more than 30 years, where Foppe passed all stages in my life, from supervisor, to colleague, to friend, to family friend, to long-life mentor… He has taught me multiple things in life, including professional but also personal, he was always honest and constructive in his critiques and comments. Most of my professional achievements I own them to him, Foppe suggested I joined as member of PCNE, I presented my first result at ESCP, more developed results at FIP and then much later he introduced me to Int J Clin Pharm as he believed I had gained enough research expertise to bring value to the journal. Foppe also provided me with the opportunity to join him on a fantastic course in Uruguay, where I learned how important it is to understand where people work to tailor the learning objectives and to transform the practical exercises into feasible ones that may later be fruitful and impact on practice. He always respected people and treated them as equals, even when he disagreed when them. He was also very humble, and once told me, I don’t know enough about that area for what you need now so go and seek advice elsewhere, pointing me to the right direction. He was always there when I needed to ask advice and help in all aspects of my life, changing jobs, and making the right choices also on the private sphere. He was always there for me, at my MSc defence, at my first international presentation, in my first paper, first edited book, at my wedding, when my children were born and as they grew… He will no longer be able to have a speech at my children’s wedding, but I truly believe he has now changed from being my guiding star on earth to be my guiding star in the sky.  

Filipa Costa


Additional Awards and Recognitions 

Foppe has received the Innovation Prize of the Royal Dutch Association of Pharmacists (KNMP) in 1993. In 1995 he has received the Opwijrda Prize for the best publication. The Opwijrda Prize is named after pharmacist R.J. Opwijrda from Nijmegen, who founded the Pharmaceutisch Weekblad in 1864 and was editor-in-chief for over 25 years. Foppe also received the Official Pharmaceutical Association of Gipuzkoa Award in 1999.

Jacqueline Hugtenburg

I had the privilege of knowing Foppe for more than 20 years, during which we had very frequent contacts, primarily on professional issues but on private matters as well.  I had the pleasure of also having Foppe and Roelof visiting me in Sweden. It was easy to get fond of Foppe. He cordially embraced both me and others with great respect and with a genuine warmth. He was very including, made all feel comfortable, and was receptive to others’ opinions, never took a defensive position but always found a diplomatic way to respond kindly or compromise in a constructive way. When talking to Foppe individually, he was very focused on you and gave you a feeling of being the most important person for the time being. You easily felt confident in Foppe’s presence.

Professionally, Foppe was a remarkable eager beaver, very knowledgeable and systematic, a wise man who always found wise solutions. We worked together both in person at PCNE workshops and online, primarily on the PCNE classification from the very beginning in 1999 until shortly before his passing. It was both an enjoyable and instructive working relationship. So was our joint intense preparations for the PCNE Working Conference in Gothenburg during my PCNE chairmanship. What he has done for the PCNE is endless and as I told him just recently, PCNE without him is like sailing a ship without a sea captain. Chairpersons and boards have come and gone over the years, but Foppe has throughout the history of PCNE been at the helm of the ship. Foppe responded “Sailing a ship is not as difficult as it seems” :-).

Foppe was not only a great professional but also a very hospitable, kind and generous friend. His birthday parties at 55, 60 and 65 at his and Roelof’s wonderful residence in picturesque Maisonsgoutte in France will remain cherished memories. For obvious reasons, there was no party at Foppe’s 70th birthday, but I sent him a video selftape, not in first hand to congratulate him but to take this expected last chance to again express my gratitude to him.

In conclusion, Foppe was one of a kind, both professionally and personally, and I will indeed miss him a lot.    

Tommy Westerlund


1995. That was the first time I met Foppe, in Groningen. We had a common passion: giving concrete form to pharmaceutical care. He worked on his PhD, I learned from Foppe about the Astmatom-study and how I could start the first pharmaceutical care project in Belgium. We kept in touch, all those years, and I learned so much from him. PCNE was very important to Foppe and the annual PCNE-conferences and symposia gave us the opportunity to catch up. All those very pleasant conversations on smaller and bigger projects in the past 25 years. On his way Foppe inspired many of us in the development of pharmaceutical care through the very productive and constructive discussions and his never-ending intrest in what was going on.
When at the last PCNE-symposium you told me that it was your last PCNE-activity I did not realise the end was so close, Foppe. We’ll miss you.
Thank you for everything and we’ll never forget you.  
Marleen Haems


Foppe van Mil belonged to what I call the 60s generation of pharmacists in the Netherlands. A group of pharmacists  that realized that the future of pharmacy and especially of community pharmacy did lot lie in compounding and logistics, but in pharmaceutical care. A relative large number of these pharmacists have brought community pharmacy in The Netherlands to a next level. They focused on drug information both for patients and doctors, clinical risk management and helped automating Dutch community pharmacies, which actually made these pharmacies running in the forefront of health care digitalization.

Foppe was an active community pharmacist. He started a critical review journals of medicines called Pharma Selecta, comparable with the English Drug and therapeutics bulletin and the French Prescrire. Foppe probably was the first Dutch community pharmacist with a Phd completely devoted to  Pharmaceutical Care. Foppe has paved the path for the generations after him.

I will always be grateful for his contribution and the many meetings either during PCNE or ESCP and on numerous occasions in The Netherlands. Foppe showed that we should not bargain too much on the definition of pharmaceutical care. We as pharmacists should take responsibility for the appropriate use of medicines and always keep the patients well-being in our minds.

I will keep  teaching our student this important message, now also in remembrance of Foppe!

Marcel Bouvy, Utrecht University



It was Foppe who recruited me for the Pharmaceutical Care movement in 1994 in Agrigento/Sicily and we closely worked together through the following years, starting with the Elderly Study, a Biomed project, in which7 European countries participated.

Foppe was not only a hard worker and reliable colleague, he was also good company after the work was done and enjoyed the time that we spent together as we all did.

The Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe seems to be unthinkable without him but it is probably the best way to thank him for his tireless engagement in keeping the network and his name alive.

Marion Schaefer, Berlin / Germany, formerly Humboldt- University


In the passing of Foppe I lost a long term colleague and true friend.

Over the past 30 years we have worked on a number of projects including the original PCNE  Pharmaceutical Care of the Elderly project. I had also the pleasure of promoting the award of Foppe’s PhD at his defence (Doug Hepler was unable to attend).  We visited each other’s homes on several occasions and my wife Diana and Foppe’s partner Roelof often spent time together at FIP congresses when Foppe and I were busy with the community pharmacy continuing education programme. A visit to their home in the Alsace for Foppe’s 65th birthday was very much enjoyed by Diana and myself.

The last time I met Foppe was at the ESCP meeting in Belfast.  We met informally on a daily basis and had a relaxing meal together at the end of the conference.

Foppe worked tirelessly (and highly efficiently) in his support of PCNE (he was the backbone from its inception) and also provided much support to ESCP.  His editorship of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy was outstanding, remoulding the journal into one with true international presence. His very significant, transformative contributions to pharmaceutical care research, training and practice will endure. 

The time has passed much too quickly from when I first met Foppe – I will, however, continue to think of him often and he will remain very dear to Diana and myself.  He will be sadly missed.

James C. McElnay, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast



Foppe contributed to networking within the international platform, being active in a number  of organisations including the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe and the International Pharmaceutical Federation.  He transmitted his deep regard towards community pharmacy and how to showcase the contributions of pharmacists in patient care particularly in reducing drug-related problems.  Through his position as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, he motivated colleagues to disseminate practice research findings and the sharing of experiences.

He had a warm personality and meeting him in conferences around the world made connecting with him a pleasure.  His legacy may be summarised in the enthusiasm for being part of the pharmacy profession within an international family. 
Lilian M. Azzopardi
Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta
President, European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy 


It was with deep sadness when we learned of the passing of Foppe. He was a visionary pharmacist who drove pharmacy practice and Pharmaceutical Care in particular on a national, European and international level forward. Above all, he was a true friend. The last author will never forget the many workshops, briefing and debriefing meetings since FIP Lisbon 1994 with the Continuing Education “gang” i.e., Doug Hepler, Dick Tromp, James McElnay, Bente Froekjaer, Hanne Herborg, Olivier Bugnon, Peter Noyce, among others. 

Foppe had a unique personality. Everbody who was lucky to meet him, work or celebrate with him will agree. He had an honest and deep interest in many topics. One of his passions was to promote Pharmaceutical Care worldwide and to build up a solid scientific basis for that. Also in Germany, he made extraordinary contributions in this development.

Many German pharmacists remember him as the backbone of the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe (PCNE), in particular. He was a mentor for many colleagues focusing on Pharmaceutical Care. He gave countless lectures for many Chambers of Pharmacists and influenced the development of the profession. Moreover, he enriched the discussion about drug-related problems (DRP) and medication review. He was always willing to assist in finding answers for difficult scientific and practice questions. 

In 2014, Foppe was appointed member of the scientific advisory board of the „Förderinitiative Pharmazeutische Betreuung“ (Foundation Pharmaceutical Care), an organization that aims to promote Pharmaceutical Care in Germany. There, Foppe contributed considerably in the last years. With a very critical but also kind eye, he reviewed many project proposals that were always greatly improved due to his input. Foppe participated in conducting workshops for young researchers where he generously shared his experiences and profound knowledge. Also, he invited young people to use and participate in his network. This was a huge motivation and often an eye-opener for the participants.

Foppe‘s friendly and open nature made a lasting impression on all of us. With him, it was always something special. Our thoughts are with all his family, but particularly with his partner Roelof. We will greatly miss him. 

Christiane Eickhoff, Nina Griese-Mammen, and Martin Schulz on behalf of the Department of Medicine, ABDA, Berlin, Germany.



On September 1999 Foppe came to San-Sebastian first Congress of Pharmaceutical Care in Spain. He was interested in knowing results of our first project applying pharmaceutical care procedures to coronary patients in community pharmacies, under the supervision of Charles D.Hepler; Both came together and were a good backing presence to introduce the new way of understand professional practice in those days.

Since then, he has participated many times with us in the meetings of our Foundation and he made the Closure presentation at the Fith Congres in Oviedo (2007) with the title Current status and latest developments in Pharmaceutical Care in Europe.

Since then our collaboration in PCNE meetings and developments was done many times through his invitation and leadership.

Flor Alvarez de Toledo, Oviedo-España
Ana Mª Dago Martinez, Pharmaceutical Care España 

In 2007 I received a grant for a research into medication review following discharge of older people from the hospital. I asked Foppe to think with me about setting up the training for the participating community pharmacists in Amsterdam.

Ultimately Foppe gave the training and this time the Amsterdam pharmacists still talk about the training they received. It was an impulse to implement medication review in the Amsterdam region. I learnt that adequate training is an important factor contributing to the success of innovations. On the advice of Foppe, I went to visit the PCNE symposia to present the results of that study.

I am happy that I was able to work with Foppe on the board in the period 2016-2020. With Foppe on board, the ship was always on course. We will follow the direction set. 

Jacqueline Hugtenburg
 At the funeral ceremony for Foppe van Mil near friends and the family accompanied his husband Roelof on Friday 24thJuly at the crematorium in Groningen. A lot of flowers around the coffin and behind a splendid view into the green nature gave a very atmospheric frame for the celebration of Foppe’s life. From his friends we learned about the steps in his life enriched with personal thoughts and anecdotes. Erik Gerbrands was the perfect speaker to present all the impressive achievements of Foppe as a pharmacist, scientist, researcher and teacher and to name his most important contributions to the development of clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical care through his very active involvement in FIP, ESCP and notably PCNE.

We will sadly miss him and his spirit. But I refer to the quote by Jean Paul (1816): 

“Memory is the only paradise from which we cannot be driven away” 
Kurt Hersberger
Visit Our Website

Please contact if you have any questions about this newsletter. 


Copyright © 2020 Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe, All rights reserved.