Around the World

2017 Issue 4
2017 Issue 3
2017 Issue 2
2017 Issue 1
2016 Issue 5
2016 Issue 4
2016 Issue 3
2016 Issue 2
2016 Issue 1
2015 Issue 5
2015 Issue 4
2015 Issue 3
2015 Issue 2
2015 Issue 1
Spring 2013
Maine Message
News Briefs
Will on the Hill: Local Leverage
Academy in Action
Around the World
Assessment Essentials
Making It Manageable
From One Place to Another
Faculty News
The Last Word
School News Submission Form

Around the World 

Making Connections

Pharmacists take the lead when it comes to helping patients manage complex medication-related issues.

In daily life, complexity results from countless factors. Culture, environment, social and economic status, and physical ability all contribute to and complicate managing ill health. Pharmacists bear witness to many of these complexities and increasingly must care for what have come to be known as “complex patients.” Recognizing the valuable impact that pharmacists have in the lives of such individuals, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is putting the care of complex patients at the top of the agenda for 2013.

Complicated Situations

It’s difficult to define a complex patient, yet it’s generally understood that the term applies to those who require an extra amount of care and consideration as a consequence of complicated and extensive medication regimens compounded by physical and mental limitations.

Current statistics suggest that complex patients comprise upwards of 25 percent of individuals in primary care practices who fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Multiple, well-defined chronic illness with various complications
  • Treatment involving invasive procedures both for diagnosis and therapy
  • A peculiar combination of resiliency and fragility
  • Unexpected responses to common medications and minor illnesses
  • Longevity (living highly functional lives into the 80s and 90s)

As the most accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists come into continual contact with complex patients in the community, putting them at the frontline of care with regard to managing many issues that may or may not be medication-related.

What Does the Future Hold?

With the goal of advocating increasing roles for pharmacists in the management of complex patients, and providing an extensive platform for learning and growth to do just that, FIP has made complex patients a priority for 2013. Taking place in Dublin, Ireland, the 2013 FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has adopted the theme of complex patients and will examine the issue from all standpoints: biological (emphasizing the current development of systems biology), medical (demographics, genetics, smoking, alcohol, diet and multiple diseases), socioeconomic (availability of resources, literacy) and cultural (beliefs, traditions, religion). Pharmacists have the ability and opportunity to support patients in every aspect of complexity.

Sessions within the Congress will address the needs of complex patients, how these needs are currently being met, and emerging and future strategies for treating the complex patient. By providing evidence-based scientific information and embracing collaborative practice, the pharmacist should have a critical role in dealing with complexity in patient care.

Finding Solutions

The 2013 FIP Congress will focus on how the pharmacist is ideally skilled and positioned to ensure that complex patients receive the best care possible. Featuring thousands of pharmacists from all over the world and from all areas of pharmacy practice and science, the FIP Congress will convene in Dublin to work toward a future in which multidisciplinary approaches maximize healthcare contributions for the full benefit of patients, despite their wide range of social, cultural, medical, biological and medical diversity.

For more information on the FIP Congress and its perspective on complex patients, visit the FIP Web site at

Help Fight HIV Abroad

Last updated on: 6/4/2013 6:10 PM 

© 2017 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
1727 King Street | Alexandria, VA  22314 | (703) 739-2330 | Fax: (703) 836-8982 |