2 Draft global action plan on the public health response to dementia


Honorable Chair,
Distinguished Delegates,

The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation is the leading voice of pharmacy students and
recent graduates in over 81 different countries worldwide.

IPSF strongly encourages the integration of pharmacists in the care of those affected by dementia. A few
weeks ago, one of our student pharmacist members reported caring for a dementia patient who was
hospitalized due to medication nonadherence - a costly hospitalization that could have been avoided had
a pharmacist been able to meet with the patient and caregivers to help them develop a medication plan.

As one of the most accessible healthcare providers, pharmacists serve not only their patients, but also
caregivers and family members. Physical, emotional, and economic pressures of their responsibilities
can manifest in extreme stress, and a principal goal of care is to provide information and long-term
support to caregivers and families. In addition to using WHO’s iSupport e-programme, pharmacists can
educate caretakers on indication, administration, and side effects of each medication. Pharmacists can
also aid in medication adherence, organize weekly pill boxes, or offer other helpful tools to ensure
treatment optimization.

The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation is committed to joining the public health
response to dementia - the second largest cause of disability worldwide for people over the age of 70.
Because of lack of awareness and understanding of dementia, affected patients often face stigmatization
and barriers to diagnosis and care. Last September, our organization promoted a social media campaign
coinciding with the 2016 World Alzheimer's Month theme, "Remember Me.” IPSF believes that raising
awareness will foster a dementia-friendly society determined to put this chronic illness at the forefront
of global health initiatives.

As we await a cure for dementia, IPSF urges societies, governments, and organizations to act now on
issues that we can control, including promoting the implementation of pharmacists as key providers of
dementia care.

1. mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings- version 2 – WHO
& mhGAP
2. http://www.oecd.org/health/dementia.htm
3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/
4. http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2015/dementia-conference/en/
5. http://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/dementia/infographic_dementia/en/
World Alzheimer Report 2015: http://www.worldalzreport2015.org/