International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists
FIPC (Fédération Internationale des Pharmaciens Catholiques)
The first steps towards establishing the FIPC were taken in the 1930s by associations of Catholic pharmacists in Belgium and France. The Federation was officially created at the Congress that was held in Rome, in 1950, attended by over 500 Catholic pharmacists belonging to various national associations, often called at the time the "SS Cosmos and Damien Society", "St Albert the Great Society" (patron saints of pharmacists). Recognised by the Holy See as an International Catholic Organisation, FIPC is a member of the Conference of ICOs and its "Health" Commission. As an NGO it has consultative status with the WHO, and it works with UNICEF, the Council of Europe and the European Union. FIPC also has contacts with the International Pharmaceutical Federation, and works in coordination with Catholic physicians belonging to FIAMC (see page 139) and with Catholic nurses belonging to CICIAMS (see page 109).
As a forum for debate and action, FIPC endeavours to address all the issues relating to the pharmacist’s profession in the light of the Christian faith; it supports the creation of associations of Catholic pharmacists in countries where they do not already exist; it represents these associations before ecclesiastical authorities and international health agencies or entities operating in the field of health care, economics and medical ethics, and the training of pharmacists; in respect for the dignity of the human person and with the help and consultancy of constantly updated professionals, it strives to ensure that medicines are within the reach of everyone everywhere. FIPC has a Bioethics Committee, and develops programmes for providing access to life-saving drugs; it encourages the ethical training of pharmacists; it works to alert authorities to the need for Schools to provide pharmaceutical training and practice. It holds international congresses and study days at the national level to provide important training opportunities for the members of the member associations.
The supreme organ of the FIPC is the International Council, composed of the full members and the corresponding members. It constitutes the association’s General Assembly which lays down the programmes. The Executive Committee is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the International Council; it comprises the President, one or more Vice Presidents, the General Secretary, Treasurer, and Ecclesiastical Assistant. The socalled FIPC Ambassadors (normally the Presidents of national associations) are designated as such, in order to spread the Federation more broadly in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. The FIPC has titular members, corresponding members, and benefactor members.
The FIPC has 50 titular and corresponding members, in 36 countries, as follows: Africa (8), Asia (3), Europe (16), Middle East (1), North America (4), Oceania (1) and South America (3).
FIPC does not manage works of its own. It is the affiliated national associations that promote specific initiatives to meet the demands of the neediest sections of the populations of their own countries, study the bioethics issues in conjunction with institutes of higher education, and cooperate with Third World assistance organisations. The most important of these are Orbi-Pharma, which was set up by the Belgian association to provide essential drugs and medicines to the developing countries; the Cameroon Bioethics Society, Africa’s first bioethics society, set up by the Cameroonian Association.
Fédération Internationale des Pharmaciens Catholiques
Square Vergote, 43
1030 Brussels - Belgium
Phn Alain Lejeune
President of FIPC
12, Rue du Berceau (Marbais)
1495 Villers-La-Ville - Belgium
Tel. [+32]71.877.145 - Fax 71.875.040
Ap. Ann Janssens
Secretary General of FIPC
Bosdorp 180 - 9190 Stekene - Belgium