Topic A: Social determinants of health
Differences in where people are born how they grow, and where they live, work and age are generally responsible for health inequities within and between countries. Termed "social determinants of health", these circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. Reducing health inequities is considered an ethical imperative and there are many initiatives world-wide that are attempting to “close the gap”. Consumer health literacy is one such inequity. The congress will look at these issues in depth and guide pharmacists towards an understanding of how their role can help improve access to quality medicines and services, and shape policies to improve public health.
Topic B: Novel tools for prevention and treatment
An increasing use of IT is driving improvements in how medicines and non-pharmacological treatments are being used or applied to help people remain healthy and manage their diseases effectively. For example, the use of apps to provide reminders, collect data and to facilitate dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals is a rapidly expanding aspect of healthcare. Other new technologies are being developed together with new treatment paradigms such as therapeutic vaccines, gene therapy and tissue engineering, and better diagnostic tools. Congress delegates will hear how all these are helping to provide better quality of life to patients through earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes.
Topic C: Diagnostics and adherence ̶ putting progress into collaborative practice
Since pharmacists are the first point of contact for many patients and are therefore in a unique position with regard to disease prevention and health promotion, it can only be beneficial for them to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in initiatives that centre on overall improvement of personal health and well-being. Such initiatives could involve early disease diagnosis and monitoring adherence. Congress delegates will have an opportunity, through a series of interactive sessions, to learn how they can contribute to meaningful pharmaceutical care, disease prevention and long-lasting health promotion through the use of science-based diagnostic tools and patient-centred initiatives to improve adherence to drug treatment.
Topic D: Sustainable and affordable global health
There is no question that, to reduce the global burden of disease, pharmaceutical care must be sustainable and affordable for patients. Sustainability means that quality of care has to be evaluated and improved, and enforced by interprofessional education. It also means that pharmacists need to expand their horizons as the pharmacy profession advances. Awareness of national context and global needs is essential. Research must help practitioners find affordable solutions to new challenges and rare diseases, as well as bringing new approaches to unmet patient needs. Congress delegates will explore the new role of pharmacy educators, practitioners and scientists to assure sustainability of prevention, medication and care.
Topic E: Miscellaneous
In our miscellaneous stream, we invite you to select from a range of sessions that explore different fields of interest in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. The world we live in is "vibrant, unreal, crazy and astounding", one speaker will claim. Come and have your say on why such a world demands a new type of leadership. Other speakers will look at scenarios for the future of healthcare. You will be able to use these as a strategic map for pharmacy development. You will also be able to take part in the congress’s daily "speaker’s corner", where you can talk about questions and issues linked to the congress theme that you consider important. With other sessions yet to be finalised, there will be something for everyone.