Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Going Global: The Report of the 2009-2010 Research and Graduate Affairs Committee

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Going Global: The Report of the 2009-2010 Research and Graduate Affairs Committee

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

According to the Bylaws of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the Research and Graduate Affairs Committee shall provide assistance to the Association in developing its research, graduate education, and scholarship agenda. This assistance may include facilitating colleges and schools in formulating and advancing legislative and regulatory initiatives, and nurturing collaborative activities with organizations sharing an interest in issues related to the pharmaceutical sciences.

AACP President Jeffrey N. Baldwin charged the committee to examine the roles that AACP and its member institutions currently perform or should play in the future in the development of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice educators and scientists in developing and developed countries. Specifically, the committee will address the following:

* Review the present roles US colleges/schools of pharmacy play in working with developing and developed countries to initiate, change, and improve their education and training of pharmacists and/or pharmaceutical scientists.

* Examine and determine whether there is a role for AACP to develop a coordinated plan for working with countries that need and request the cooperation of US college/school of pharmacy faculty and students in improving the development, manufacture and/or distribution and use of medications, including vaccinations and nutritional agents, and/ or initiating or improving the education of personnel to carry out these activities.

* Determine the potential scope of programs for which AACP could obtain funding from federal agencies and/or philanthropic organizations to support the expanded efforts of US colleges/ schools of pharmacy to jointly work with countries that need and request help in the areas such as faculty development, curriculum change, pharmaceutical care and research expansion.

BACKGROUND

The issues addressed by the committee are activities, which could be subsumed under the more general topic of global health either by individual AACP member institutions or the Association. The primary objectives of the charges are to examine whether AACP and its member institutions can improve a non-US country's healthcare infrastructure through pharmacy education and the resulting change in pharmacy services (individual and population-based medication management), including the discovery, development and manufacture of needed medications.

What is global health? Given that this term is used in a number of different contexts, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) developed the following definition. (1)

   Global health is an area for study, research, and practice
   that places a priority on improving health and
   achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.
   Global health emphasizes transnational health issues,
   determinants and solutions; involves many disciplines
   within and beyond the health sciences and promotes
   interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of
   population-based prevention with individual-level
   clinical care. (2)

The CUGH held its first annual meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD in September 2009. At that meeting the results of a survey of 55 universities that could be identified as having formal programs or initiatives in global health were presented.

Thirty-seven responding institutions reported a rapid growth in global health programs, significant increases in enrollment/participation of undergraduate and graduate students in global health programs in the past three years, and a large increase in the number of student organizations focused on global health. The respondent institutions also reported "formal significant" relationships with 97 countries on five continents and Oceania supporting 302 student training programs, with Africa the most heavily represented. …

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