Israel's first doctors of clinical pharmacy will work alongside MDs to prevent and solve medication problems
Research shows the use of unsuitable medicines is the fifth highest source of mortality
PharmD alumni at the graduation ceremony (photo by: Douglas Guthrie)
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has conferred degrees upon the first graduates of a new doctoral program in clinical pharmacy. The new program, the first of its kind in Israel, was initiated three years ago with enrollment of the first students, replacing the former master’s program in clinical pharmacy. The 15 graduates of the program received a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree — the equivalent in pharmacy of a doctor of medicine degree — at a ceremony on May 1.
The new graduates will work alongside medical doctors in hospitals and health clinics. The clinical pharmacist is responsible for identifying problems connected with patients’ medications, finding solutions to those problems, and trying to prevent them. Clinical pharmacy incorporates aspects of pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapy and finds its expression within the framework of patient care.
“Research has shown that the use of unsuitable medicines is the fifth highest source of mortality in the US,” said Prof. Amnon Hoffman, head of the program. “More people die from medical errors than from road accidents, breast cancer or AIDS. More involvement of pharmacists in guiding patients towards correct, responsible and cautious use of medicines can prevent this phenomenon in many cases. Our new graduates of this program are expected to make a great contribution to the health of patients, and they will serve as groundbreakers for those who come after them.”
In addition to Prof. Hoffman, others who spoke at the graduation ceremony on the Ein Kerem campus included Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson; Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Prof. Eran Leitersdorf; Director of the School of Pharmacy Prof. Shimon Benita; Prof. Shimona Yosselson-Superstine, supervisor of the applied care aspects of the program; Director of the National Insurance Institute Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef; and a representative of the graduating students.