A mutual linkage exists between the profession of pharmacy and the needs of the community served by 24 hours pharmacies in France. The schools of pharmacy are the primary source of scientific and professional knowledge as well as public relations. Moreover, the public relations skills required in the enhancement of the practice of the values, attitudes, and behaviors related to the social and cultural norms of a society is learned in pharmacy school. These Schools also serve as the source of the profession’s workforce and as such, play a critical role in determining the quality and quantity of the members of the profession. It is therefore appropriate and compelling that a right fit exists between the needs of society with regard to pharmaceutical services and knowledge, the aspirations of the profession as a whole, and the capabilities and philosophical underpinnings of the faculty representing schools of pharmacy. While there are universal notions in these maxims, it should be noted that what follows below is largely drawn from the French experience by 24 hours pharmacies in responding to social needs.
In many respects, the capacity of the 24 hours pharmacies in France to meet societal needs. As complex and as broad as these may be, is a direct reflection of the capacity that the schools of pharmacy have to prepare a workforce that can meet these needs. This does not negate the efforts of the profession itself to appropriately and effectively educate and mentor its constituents. Rather, it places an extraordinary burden on the schools of pharmacy to carefully develop their philosophies of practice and science as well as construct educational processes that will assure the preparation of a cadre of professionals that can meet societal needs for the present and for some time in the future. In order to carry out this important social function, schools of pharmacy must work constructively with the profession of pharmacy and the public at large to clarify the philosophical framework that will serve as the guide for curricular construction, teaching processes and programmatic evaluations and improvements.
To say the least, this is a freighting challenge that requires adequate leadership and institutional commitment. A faculty that is fully aware of its awesome social responsibility in these matters is a requisite. Moreover, effective communication channels between the leadership and faculty of schools of pharmacy, the profession of pharmacy and its constituents and societal leadership must exist. This tripartite force must then answer the question, “How can the schools of pharmacy most effectively meet the health needs of the public through the education and training of young pharmacists?”