As higher educators and researchers in health care area we are sure that medicines represent one of the most important milestones in the rise of life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. But we also know learnt in the second half of the past century that inappropriate use of medicines can also be a public health issue. This double sided coin obliges educators to imbue in the future health care professionals the necessity of a judicious use of medicines. Polypharmacy is a perfect example of a situation where the professional has to reach the balance. We have to train professionals to use the therapeutic arsenal to improve patients’ health. But we have also to train professionals to be aware that adding up a new medicine in a patient’s therapeutic profile requires a further evaluation.
On top of this, we know that future health care professionals will be part of complex health care systems, with as many specialized providers as needed. Some of these professionals should perform the task of holistically review the whole patient’s therapeutic profile in a process that we called polypharmacy management. This task requires specific competences and teaching contents that we are obliged to introduce in University curricula. SIMPATHY project depicted a series of additional competences that might not be part of the curricula of many of the health care professional schools across Europe. Educators have to learn from SIMPATHY how to improve future professionals training to qualify them as polypharmacy managers.
by Prof. Fernando Fernandez-Llimos