Home' Australian Journal of Pharmacy : Jan Feb 2015 Contents Now, this isn’t the first such
oath or service pledge ever
produced for our profession,
but coming from our recognised
international body, it carries some
weight, and is worthy of some scrutiny.
Founded in 1912, FIP is the global
federation of national associations
of pharmacists and pharmaceutical
scientists. Through its 132 member
organisations, including the
Pharmacy Guild of Australia, FIP
represents more than three million
practitioners and scientists around
the world. NSW Branch president
of the Guild, Paul Sinclair, is the
current president of FIP’s community
The oath issued by the FIP council
is a timely reminder of the trust
placed in community pharmacists,
and of the absolute need to
ensure that trust is nurtured and
maintained. The enemy of our high
ranking for trust is complacency,
sliding standards, and failing to
remember our chief purpose for
becoming a pharmacist.
The opening words of the nine-
point FIP oath are: As a pharmacist,
I vow to serve humanity and to
support my profession’s ideals and
Well, that is a reasonably lofty and
altruistic sentiment to express, but it
is also pretty hard to argue against.
The nine-points drill down a little
George Tambassis Guild president
Community pharmacy: reinforcing trust
WHEN THE COUNCIL OF THE INTERNATIONAL
PHARMACEUTICAL FEDERATION (FIP) MET IN
BANGKOK LAST YEAR (2014) IT ENDORSED A
SIMPLE NINE-POINT OATH BASED ON BUILDING
TRUST WITH THE COMMUNITY.
Comment PHARMACY GUILD OF AUSTRALIA
Pharmacy Guild of Australia Comment
a community pharmacy would want
to do is make any section of society
feel unwelcome or discriminated
against. This also has practical
implications in that pharmacy staff
need to be trained and encouraged
to be mindful of this requirement.
It makes sense morally, legally,
professionally and for the good of
5. I shall protect the confidentiality
of personal and health information
entrusted to me.
This is absolutely vital, and
increasingly relevant with
the arrival of eHealth and
sophisticated data retention and
retrieval systems. It’s also about
something as simple as having a
private consultation area within a
pharmacy—and making sure that
patients are aware such a facility is
available. Time and again, privacy
issues are cited against pharmacies,
and used by our critics as evidence
that pharmacies are somehow not
truly health care locations. We
must address it.
6. I shall maintain my professional
knowledge and competence
throughout my career.
Fortunately, in the Australian
environment, this is not just a
pledge, but a legal requirement of
registration, so tick that box.
7. I shall support the advancement of
knowledge and standards of practice
This is a pledge which will apply in
practical terms to some pharmacists
more than others—depending on
their chosen career course. Having
said that, it is an aspiration which no
pharmacist would fail to support.
8. I shall nurture the preparation of
future members of my profession.
This is absolutely essential to the
future of our profession, and as
such it is a vow I am very pleased to
adopt. Community pharmacy plays
a very significant and largely unsung
role in the education of young
pharmacists through the internship
requirement. Good pharmacists
are natural mentors, and I have
been delighted to see some of
the mentoring relationships that
pharmacists have developed with
graduates over the years. It’s great
and rewarding work.
9. I shall use all opportunities to
develop collaborative practice
with all healthcare professionals
in my environment.
Whatever levels of collaboration we
have achieved with other health
professional in the past—and they
have been significant—I believe
collaboration will become an even
greater component of pharmacists’
work in the coming years. I think
patients, health authorities and
governments are likely to demand
even higher levels of collaboration
to deliver the best and most efficient
So there is a nine-point code,
which I commend to all of my
colleagues. At the heart of all of
those points is trust. We have the
trust of the public—we need to
nurture that trust, and as a united
profession, we need to have a zero
tolerance for breaches of trust.
further into the nuts and bolts of our
work in community pharmacy, and
here’s my take on them.
1. I shall be guided in all dimensions
of my life by the highest standards of
Again, this is a broad net to cast—
but who in their heart would
recoil at striving to be true to such
a moral target?
2. I shall apply the full measure of my
knowledge and abilities to supporting
the health and wellbeing of all those
Now we’re starting to get
practical. This part of the oath is
about standards and diligence.
About avoiding complacency,
and always taking that extra step
to be sure we are delivering the
best care for our patients.
3. I shall always place the needs of
all those I serve above my personal
interests and considerations.
Again, it’s all about trust—earning it,
and keeping it.
4. I shall treat all those I serve equally,
fairly and with respect, regardless
of gender, race, ethnicity, religion,
culture or political beliefs.
Not only is this a morally good
position to adopt, it also happens to
make business sense. The last thing
38 | THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.96 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015
THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.95 NOVEMBER 2014 | 39
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