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EIPG2019 1This year, the General Assembly (GA) of the European Industrial Pharmacists Group (EIPG) took place in Budapest (Hungary) from 24 May to 26 May 2019. Alexia Rensonnet and Thomas Lion (board members and EIPG delegates) represented the Belgian Association.
The GA started with a scientific symposium entitled “Crossing the bridge: A current overview of the Falsified Medicines Directive” with five different speakers from the EFPIA, EIPG, Hungarian associations and companies. Piero Iamartino from EIPG presented the draft of the guidance on “Safety features implementation and QP responsibilities”.

During the GA, the Belgian Association UPIP-VAPI was mentioned several times and recognized for its pertinent contribution to the work of EIPG; for instance, for the review of QP code of conduct, a part concerning the good distribution practices (GDP) was added thanks to Belgium or for the contribution to the newsletter from EIPG in February. Moreover, Belgium is also well represented among the members visiting EIPG website or taking part in the proposed webinars.EIPG2019 2
During the GA, two working groups were also organized on Saturday. The first was entitled: “Professional Codes of Conduct and Legislation Requirements” and discussed the following question “What is the position of the industrial pharmacist in today’s industry?” and compared the requirements in the legislation for the different positions in the pharmaceutical industry in function of the countries in the European Union. For example, in the Belgian legislation, the role of the pharmacist is well mentioned and described which is not the case in all other countries. The goal of the discussion was to determine “How can we defend the pharmacist further in the European regulation?”.

The second was entitled: “Competences and Industrial Pharmacy Education” and considered the competences needed for the industrial pharmacist in the future following the new trends in the industry.

On the last day, Belgium presented to the other countries the activities organized by our association (UPIP-VAPI is one of the most active European associations) but also the hot topics in Belgium in our sector: drug shortages and the new Belgian law, the implementation of the falsified medicines directive in our country with the transition period, the increase of clinical trials and the pressure on the solidarity health insurance.

The next GA will take place in Leiden in May 2020.