Community Pharmacy: Driving Healthcare Forward

IPU to examine the Future of Primary Healthcare

26 April 2018: The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) will this weekend hold its annual National Pharmacy Conference, which will focus on ‘Driving Healthcare Forward’ and will explore the transformational impact an expansion of the role of community pharmacies could have for primary healthcare in Ireland.

Commencing tomorrow, Friday, at the Clayton Whites Hotel in Wexford, the conference will hear from a range of speakers on the development of pharmacy services and the challenges currently being faced by the pharmacy sector. The conference will open with an address from IPU President Daragh Connolly (a community pharmacist based in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford), on the unrealised potential of pharmacy services and the impact of Government’s failure to reverse swingeing funding cuts under FEMPI legislation.

Among the many speakers at the event will be: 

Chanelle, Lady McCoy, who will provide delegates with practical advice on how to keep their pharmacy business fresh and improve customer experience. Lady McCoy will also share her experience on the importance of teamwork, covering topics such as delegation and setting goals/KPIs in the workplace, as well as maximising business sustainability and potential.

Charles Normand, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin, who will address the healthcare skills and professional needs of a 21st century health system in Ireland. The Professor will draw on his renowned expertise in the financing, organisation and delivery of health and social care, and recent research on economic evaluation methods in healthcare.

Thomas E. Menighan, Vice-President & CEO of the American Pharmacists’ Association, who will outline the latest trends in the evolution of pharmacy services in the United States. Mr Menighan will use his experience to make recommendations for how Ireland can plan and benefit from an expansion of pharmacy services.

Full programme of speakers is available here

The conference will conclude on Sunday with over 150 community pharmacists from across the country debating motions on a wide range of topics relating to pharmacy services and improving access to healthcare.  Motions passed at this meeting will become official policy of the Irish Pharmacy Union.

Motions to be debated at the conference include:

  • “That this AGM calls upon the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to commence without any further obfuscation or delay a process to reverse FEMPI as it applies to community pharmacy contractors.”
  • “That this AGM calls upon the Department of Health to address health service capacity challenges and improve patient care through the introduction of properly resourced pharmacy-based services.”
  • “That this AGM calls upon the Department of Health and Health Service Executive to put in place a scheme to enable women to access contraception directly from their community pharmacist without prescription and without charge, regardless of eligibility. 
  • “That this AGM calls upon the Department of Health to amend current legislation to allow community pharmacists to substitute reference biological medicines with biosimilars.”


Further information: Jim Curran, Director of Communications & Strategy, 086 264 0469
Siobhán Kane, Press and Communications Manager, 087 775 1510
Graham Union, MKC Communications, 086 779 0744