Maltese Academic to Lead International Team in Benchmarking the Teaching of Pharmacy Practice The Pharmaceutical Press of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) is publishing a book titled Lecture Notes in Pharmacy Practice. The RPSGB is responsible for examining and registering pharmacists in the United Kingdom. The board of the RPSGB Pharmaceutical Press has entrusted the editing of the book in the hands of Professor Lilian Azzopardi, a Maltese academic who holds an international reputation in the field of Pharmacy Practice. In order to succeed with this task Professor Azzopardi has harnessed a team of international experts to contribute to the book.

The team consists of: Professor Charles Hepler from the United States who introduced the concept of Pharmaceutical Care into the Pharmacy Practice Curriculum; Professor Steve Hudson from the University of Strathclyde and Professor Sam Salek from the University of Cardiff, both accomplished academics and experts on various aspects of Pharmacy Practice - the former in Clinical Pharmacy and the latter in studies on the Quality of Life; and Professor Margarida Caramona from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, currently external examiner to the department of pharmacy at the University of Malta.

Three Maltese colleagues from the University of Malta, Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott, Dr Maurice Zarb Adami and Professor Victor Ferrito, all with over thirty years of experience in the development of the pharmacy curriculum and the teaching of pharmacy, are also participating in this project. Professor Benito del Castillo, Dean of the reputable University Complutense in Madrid is another contributor to the book. The University Complutense has recently awarded the Institutional Medal to the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Malta for its contribution to pharmacy education.

Professor Vincenzo Tortorella joins the team giving his experience from Italy’s side. Professor Tortorella has examined candidates in Pharmacy Practice in several national examinations. Until recently, he was Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Bari and is presently coordinator of the M.Sc. degree in Hospital Pharmacy. Professors Tortorella and del Castillo are past presidents of the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy, of which the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Malta is an active member.

The skeleton of the book is based on the experience of lectures given in pharmacy practice to students following the course of pharmacy in Malta.

The book proposal was very carefully reviewed by several lecturers and students from many Faculties of Pharmacy. The many favourable comments made to the publishers led Professor Lilian Azzopardi to go forward with this formidable task. In spite of her comparatively young age, Professor Azzopardi has already published a number of books and papers in the field, and has addressed and chaired several conferences and symposia in Europe and the United States.

The book is expected to be published in about two years time, around August 2009, and is expected to entrench the high reputation that Pharmacy Practice education at the University of Malta presently holds in the international arena.