LONDON, Sept. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — GSK’s scientific initiative, The Clean Breathing Institute (TCBI), along with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) issued a Call to Action to pharmacists this week to address the growing concern around the impact of air pollution on respiratory health.
More than 91% of the world’s population is living in places where the WHO air quality guidelines are not met1 and there is a clear link between air pollution and several respiratory conditions including COPD, asthma and bronchiolitis.
The Call to Action was unveiled during a roundtable panel discussion with community pharmacists and pharmacy associations on 7 September and provides guidance on how to implement the actions through a global framework and country advocacy efforts. As frontline primary healthcare professionals, who have gained increased trust from patients over the past year, community pharmacists are ideally positioned to tackle the issue of the impact of air pollution on their patients’ respiratory health.
The Call to Action is a direct output of the TCBI and FIP initiative designed to better understand pharmacists’ awareness of the impact of air pollution on respiratory health and their role in educating patients about this issue. In 2020, FIP conducted the first-ever air pollution survey, hearing from pharmacists in 62 countries and territories about their current role in respiratory care.
“The survey defined a number of barriers that must be overcome if the profession is to be able to practise to its full potential in this area, lack of training being the first. This calls for professional organisations, including FIP, to develop such guidance to support this much-needed transformation of community pharmacy practice,” said Gonçalo Sousa Pinto, FIP lead for practice development and transformation and co-author of the report. “We saw a need to continue conversations with community pharmacists to truly understand how we can help make an impact.”
To address this, FIP organised several experts’ roundtables in collaboration with TCBI, to identify priority areas related to: professional pharmacy services, education and training required to support community pharmacists with regards to air pollution and respiratory health; opportunities and barriers on pharmacists’ role in air pollution; key policy drivers and barriers to support these emerging roles by pharmacists.
“We are proud of the ongoing partnership between TCBI and FIP and our common goal of driving awareness and education around the impact of air pollution on patients’ health,” said Tess Player, Global Head of Expert at GSK Consumer Healthcare. “We are committed to providing the resources, tools and training that is needed to help pharmacists better address this topic with their patients and offer solutions for managing the effects of air pollution on their wellbeing.”
Breathe Better Pledge
TCBI and FIP are encouraging pharmacists to take the Breathe Better pledge in support of the Call to Action, which seeks to provide pharmacists with the tools, training and support they need to become respiratory health advocates in their communities. The pledge serves as a meaningful commitment that pharmacists can take to focus on raising awareness of air pollution, and act, to help patients breathe better.
Going forward, TCBI and FIP will be focused on raising awareness of the health risks caused by air pollution and health interventions available to support better patient care among pharmacists, other healthcare professionals and patient groups, as well as the public. Both organizations are committed to co-creating activities and events focused on professional pharmacy services, education and training for community pharmacists.
About GSK Consumer Healthcare
GSK Consumer Healthcare combines science and consumer insights to create innovative world-class health care brands that consumers trust and experts recommend for oral health, pain relief, respiratory and wellness. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.
About The Clean Breathing Institute
The Clean Breathing Institute partners scientific expertise of academic, institutional and international bodies, plus medical professionals and innovators from science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and commercial backgrounds. The Institute has been established with the aim of creating a network that works together to help reduce the effects of air pollution on respiratory health and quality of life, prioritising clean breathing. www.thecleanbreathinginstitute.com
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through our 146 member organisations, we represent over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. Our vision is a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and pharmaceutical care. www.fip.org