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PDA student members have the opportunity to represent UK pharmacy at an international event

Student members of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) have the chance to participate in a trip to Norway or Australia as part of PDA delegations to an international congress.

Thu 9th February 2023 The PDA

The PDA has created this opportunity as a prize for pharmacy students who can launch a successful campaign to support Medicines to Ukraine at their school of pharmacy.

The background

The PDA is an active member of several international pharmacy organisations. Each year, both the organisation of European pharmacy employees (EPhEU) and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) hold an annual congress. Here, representatives from their member organisations in various countries gather in person to share their experiences.

The PDA sends a delegation of UK members to tell other countries about the issues that pharmacists face here in the UK and to learn from other countries about their developments. This knowledge is highly beneficial to the wider PDA membership, it is a powerful educational experience for anyone attending.

Medicines to Ukraine

Since the Russian aggression of 2022, as part of a wider pan-European initiative coordinated by EPhEU, the PDA has been successfully campaigning to raise funds and awareness for a campaign called ‘Medicines to Ukraine’. This provides Ukrainian hospital pharmacists in the war zone with specialist hospital medicines that are either running low or have already run out in Ukraine, enabling them to care for the casualties of war.

More than £200K has already been raised in the UK, with more than £2 million raised across the wider EPhEU member countries. Importantly, the campaign not only provides funds, but is also demonstrating to the public the essential role that pharmacists play in the health system.

How can MPharm students get involved?

On Thursday 9 February, PDA Chairman and Secretary General of EPhEU Mark Koziol announced an exciting opportunity for MPharm students to get involved with Medicines to Ukraine.

The PDA wants MPharm students to work in teams to run a campaign at their universities to raise funds and educate others on Medicines to Ukraine, and the role of pharmacists within healthcare.

Students will form their own teams, and plan and execute their fundraising campaign.

Find out more about how to get involved here.

Why get involved?

This is a unique opportunity for students to show off their ability to innovate, plan, and carry out a pharmacy-related project. Executing a successful fundraising campaign demonstrates leadership, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Using social media to post about their fundraising campaign along the way will build their profile in the pharmacy sector.

The Medicines to Ukraine initiative is part of a bigger picture. The importance of pharmacists in healthcare is often overlooked, and the PDA works hard to ensure their expertise does not go unrecognised. Medicines to Ukraine allows pharmacy students to participate in educating others on the significant value that pharmacists provide for healthcare in the UK and worldwide.

Campaigning will run through to June 2023, at which point a panel of judges will review the teams’ activities. They will look at a range of criteria that seek to recognise creativity and imagination, as this is not purely about raising funds.

With three schools being chosen, a student from each will join the PDA’s delegation to either Norway or Australia. Travel and accommodation will be provided for the student as part of the opportunity, as well as support to make the most of this opportunity.


FIP Congress, Brisbane, Australia

A student from the school that the judges deem has the most successful campaign will take a place in the PDA delegation to the 81st FIP World Congress to be held in Brisbane, Australia on 24 – 28 Sept 2023.



Second and third PLACES

EPhEU Congress in Oslo, Norway

A student from the second and third best entries will take a place in the PDA delegation to the 12th EPhEU General Assembly to be held in Oslo, Norway on 26 – 27 Oct 2023.




Judging criteria

The criteria for the judges will  include:

  1. Leadership – demonstrating leadership and organisation throughout the campaign period.
  2. Profile of Medicines to Ukraine campaign at pharmacy school, university and online.
  3. Engagement within pharmacy school, university and beyond.
  4. Innovation – creative ways and ideas to educate and motivate others to donate and collaborate in fundraising.
  5. Inclusion – activities which engage all, and are inclusive of your university cohort.
  6. Education – helping others to understand the Medicines to Ukraine campaign and the role pharmacists have in international and humanitarian issues.

Pharmacy Students with any questions should contact


Learn More

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






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