International Pharmaceutical

Students’ Federation
European Regional Office

Patients’ rights

- 10 Anniversary of the European Patients’ Right Day May 4th, 2016 marks a decade of celebrating European Patients’ Rights Day.
As such, IPSF EuRO puts forth an official statement to bring the importance of patients’
rights to the attention of all pharmacy students, as future healthcare workers, and the
other various stakeholders in healthcare. The International Pharmaceutical Students’
Federation (IPSF) aims to give pharmacy students the knowledge and tools
surrounding patients’ rights in hopes that pharmacy students will act as patient
advocates in their respective countries.
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was finalized and with it came the
first worldwide recognition of all rights, including the ones of patients’. National
healthcare systems vary as do social, cultural, and ethical norms but certain issues
find universal consensus. For instance, the right to privacy, confidentiality of medical
information, the necessity of consent to treatment and information about risks
regarding medical interventions are all rights that are universally agreed upon.
Implementing this rights can sometimes be a challenge and it requires legislation,
regulations, professional codes, government support and many other factors.
Patient’s rights can be divided into social and individual ones. Social rights are societal
obligations to make reasonable health care provision for the whole population
regardless of any discriminatory barriers. What is considered reasonable is upon each
country to decide for themselves. In contrast, individual rights cover such areas as the
integrity of the person, privacy and religious convictions. Exceptions to the rights of
patients are usually anticipated in law and limitations are for reasons of public order,
public health and other persons’ human rights.
We must all have to be aware of the complementary nature of rights and
responsibilities. The basic assumption of all rights is that their articulation will make
people more conscious of their responsibilities and ensure mutual respect and support.
Patients have the responsibility to themselves for their own self-care and to health care
providers who also have human rights. The patient has an essential role, for only they
can provide health professionals with all the relevant information regarding diagnosis
and treatment.
As future pharmacists and healthcare providers, we have to recognize that there will
always be new challenges and new roles for us, but a pharmacist’s role to serve the
patient and its health is permanent. Considering that point of view, our patients have
the right to a knowledgeable and skilled pharmacy workforce, education about their
medications (what, how, when and why to take the medications) and a safe medication

IPSF Secretariat: Andries Bickerweg 5, 2508 AE The Hague, The Netherlands.
Tel: +31-70-302 19 92 - Fax: +31-70-302 19 99 - Email: - Website:
Registered under Dutch Law: 40413709

International Pharmaceutical
Students’ Federation
European Regional Office
process that incorporates the 5 Rights (the right patient, the right drug, the right dose,
the right route and the right time). By respecting these rules, we become quality health
professionals, give our contribution to making our world a better place to live in and
strengthen our patients and their fundamental rights.
The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation is providing its global members
with various opportunities and tools in the field of professional development, pharmacy
education and the exchange of knowledge together with its strong and continuous work
on raising awareness in society on healthcare topics, prevention of diseases and
interprofessional collaboration. Areas, we, as future pharmacists and pharmaceutical
scientists, value as key points for sustainable healthcare workforce, reducing waste in
healthcare systems and significant importance in deep respect of our patients, their
rights and our competences and duties!

Students today, Pharmacists tomorrow!
The Hague, 4th May 2016

Mr. Christian Roth
IPSF Chairperson of
the European Regional Office 2015-16


IPSF Secretariat: Andries Bickerweg 5, 2508 AE The Hague, The Netherlands.
Tel: +31-70-302 19 92 - Fax: +31-70-302 19 99 - Email: - Website:
Registered under Dutch Law: 40413709