Department of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Academic Year 2011-2012 Review
Year Overview
In October 2011, the new three-year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in
Pharmaceutical Technology was commenced and five students were enrolled on this course.
The programme leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Technology
was designed according to the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. Students
completing this course will be able to take up job positions in aspects related to the
development, manufacture and handling of medicines.
Another new programme was
launched in October 2011, namely the three-semester full time course leading to a Master of
Pharmacy degree. The MPharm degree is the degree that gives access to graduates to the
pharmacy profession.
Forty students who had completed their BSc (Hons) Pharm Sci
degree enrolled to follow the course.
In November 2011, two post-graduate students completed their studies leading to a Master
of Philosophy Degree, six students completed their Master of Science in Pharmacy studies,
37 students graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and 40 students completed their
studies leading to a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In June 2012, six students have completed their post-graduate studies leading to the postgraduate degree in Master of Science in Pharmacy, with one student obtaining a Distinction.
Thirty-four students completed the course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science
(Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science with 3 candidates obtaining a First Class Honours
Degree and the remaining students obtaining a Second Class Classification. The external
examiner was Dr Julienne Johnson, from the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and
Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom.
Sixteen pharmacy students (fourth year BSc (Hons) Pharm Sci) participated in exchange
programmes at different European schools of pharmacy.
The Department hosted 13
students from a number of pharmacy schools in Europe on the Erasmus mobility
programme. During their stay, these students either followed modules offered within the
pharmacy curriculum, or carried out their project or undertook an internship.
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During the academic year, the programme leading to the Master of Pharmacy degree to be
offered on a part-time basis to pharmacy graduates who followed a five year pharmacy
degree was developed.
The course content was approved by APQRU and the course
advertised for applicants to join the course in October 2012.
Presentation of Traditional Pharmacy Bench
On the 6 October 2011, a traditional pharmacy bench of the type that would have been the
centrepiece of most pharmacies until recently, was presented to Professor Juanito Camilleri,
the Rector. Dating from 1919, the pharmacy bench had been located at Portelli’s Pharmacy
in Paola until recently.
Its acquisition was co-ordinated by the Malta Pharmaceutical
Association on the initiative of pharmacist Reginald Fava. The bench was sponsored by
Associated Drug, Beta Pharma, Chemimart, Novartis, Starpharma, the Malta Pharmaceutical
Association and the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
The event was held at the the
Department's upper foyer, where the traditional pharmacy bench is located, an area
dedicated as a study area for pharmacy students. Rector Professor Camilleri, ex-Chancellor
Professor John Rizzo Naudi, Professor Godfrey Laferla, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and
Surgery, Professor Lilian Azzopardi, Head of Department, Ms Janis Vella from the Malta
Pharmaceutical Association and Mr Noel Pace, President of the Malta Pharmaceutical
Students' Association addressed the students, staff and department’s collaborators on this
occasion. Rebecca Tonna, a third year pharmacy students carrying out her pharmacy
practice project on the historical aspects of pharmacy delivered a presentation about the
history of pharmacy in Malta with particular reference to the dispensing equipment and
dispensing benches used in pharmacies in earlier times.
The bench is a very valuable addition to the collection of medicine containers and equipment
used in the preparation and dispensing of medicine compiled by Seychell in 2010. Seychell's
study forms part of a research programme in the Department on the historical aspects of the
pharmacy profession in Malta which included studies carried out by Zerafa (1991), Borg
(1998), Grech (2002) and Abela (2010) as part of their undergraduate and postgraduate
Visit to Actavis
On the 23 February 2012, the Rector of the University of Malta, Professor Juanito Camilleri,
and Pro-Rector for Research and Innovation, Professor Richard Muscat, together with
members of the Department of Pharmacy, Professor Lilian M. Azzopardi, Head of
Department, Professor Anthony Serracino-Inglott, Professor Victor Ferrito, Ms. Janis Vella
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and Ms. Francesca Wirth visited the new Marketing and Sales Division of Actavis in Tarxien.
They were welcomed by Mr. Daniel Vella Friggieri, Regional Director - Africa Region, and
Mr. Mauro Abdilla, Market Support Manager. During the visit Kurt Borg and Kirsten Mangion,
first year students following the course leading to the degree of BSc (Hons) Pharm Tech
were undertaking their eight-week internship within Actavis.
During these internships
students gain experience in the pharmaceutical industry and in improving their skills in
regulatory aspects.
Inauguration of the Pharmacy Practice Resource Unit
The Pharmacy Practice Resource Unit (PPRU) at the Department of Pharmacy of the
Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, was inaugurated on 16 February 2012.
The Rector of the University of Malta, Professor Juanito Camilleri, Pro-Rector for Research
and Innovation, Professor Richard Muscat and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and
Surgery, Professor Godfrey Laferla presided over the ceremony.
The PPRU is a community pharmacy simulation providing pharmacy students with a location
that allows research-informed and practice-based learning. The concept was developed by
Professor Lilian M. Azzopardi, Head of the Department of Pharmacy, Professor Anthony
Serracino-Inglott, immediate past head of department and Dr. Maurice Zarb-Adami, project
supervisor. The project was started in 2004 and pharmacy students at the time Elisa Nicholl,
Arlette Seychell and Simone Bartolo participated in studies related to its development and
evaluation. It is currently being updated and evaluated by Jaclyn Azzopardi, a Master of
Pharmacy student. Setting up this unit was possible thanks to the contribution of a number of
pharmaceutical companies who donated medicines, medical devices, product literature and
books.
During the inauguration, Jaclyn Azzopardi presented an insight into the development of the
PPRU and outlined the various sections present in the unit. The largest section is the
medication display containing medicines which are currently available on the local market.
Discontinued medicines, a wound care display, vitamins and health supplements and baby
formulas are displayed in separate sections. Moreover, patients who present at a community
pharmacy often request their medicine based on the appearance of the dosage form. This
scenario may pose a difficulty for the pharmacist since many medicines are packaged in
sealed blister packs. A tablet and capsule display exposing pharmacy students to the
appearance of tablets and capsules is included in the PPRU.
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Research is carried out in the PPRU through books and journals, product literature, patient
information leaflets, protocol booklets and the recently acquired electronic version of the
‘Martindale’, a complete drug reference book, and the ‘British National Formulary On
Formulary Complete’. Another section consists of various point-of-care testing medical
devices which are used by pharmacy students during practical sessions and in their
pharmacy practice project to gain skills in blood pressure measurement, blood glucose,
HbA1c, cholesterol, haemoglobin and anticoagulation monitoring and other clinical analysis
parameters.
A quality system is developed for all the laboratories of the Department of Pharmacy and in
the PPRU each medical device is accompanied by a standard operating procedure and a
logbook.
A section dedicated to the PPRU can be accessed from the website of the
Pharmacy Department: www.um.edu.mt/ms/pharmacy/ppru. The PPRU is managed by
pharmacist Francesca Wirth, a research officer at the Department who is carrying out
research in the area of Point-of-Care Testing.
During the inauguration, pharmacist Lawrence Zerafa donated historical pharmacy books
dating back to 1800. This donation complements the collection of historical pharmacy items
and books at the Department.
List of publications
Books
Scicluna C, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Validation Instruments for Community
Pharmacy:
An update. Germany:
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing (ISBN-10:
3838374673). August 2012.
Department’s Journal
The 2012 issue of the Department’s Journal, Journal of Euromed Pharmacy (JEMP) was
published in March 2012.
The journal carries research papers from post-graduate
students. (link http://www.um.edu.mt/ms/pharmacy/research/jemp)
Publications in refereed journals
Agius A, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Faecal occult blood testing in community
pharmacy. IJJP 2012 (accepted for publication).
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Aquilina MC, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Pharmacist intervention in a heart
failure clinic. IJJP 2012 (accepted for publication).
Ciantar J, Shoemake C, Mangani C, Azzopardi LM, Serracino Inglott A. Optimisation of
Tyrosine-based Lead Molecules capable of modulation of the Peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor gamma. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and
Research 2012; 3(8): 2550-2561.
Grima A, Shoemake C, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Optimisation of Abirateronebased non-steroidal lead molecules. Biomirror 2012 (accepted for publication).
Mercieca AM. Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Quality of life in hypertensive dialysis
patients. IJJP 2012 (accepted for publication).
Sacco R, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Palliative care in cancer patients:
evaluating pharmacist intervention in a hospice setting. European Journal of Hospital
Pharmacy 2011; 17(3): 75-80.
Sapiano K, Savona-Ventura C, Calleja-Agius J, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi L.
Attitudes towards pre-conception care in Maltese women with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.
Gynaecological Endocrinology 2012 in press (on-line 21 July 2012).
Publications in refereed conference proceedings
Atkins S, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Use of diuretics in elderly patients with
congestive heart failure. Abstract Book. 41st European Association of Clinical
Pharmacy Symposium, Barcelona, October 2012 (accepted).
Attard D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Compliance with protocols in dental
conditions. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam,
October 2012 (accepted).
Azzopardi J, Zarb-Adami M, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Evaluation of the
pharmacy practice resource unit. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical
Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott. Student perceptions of drugs that changed the world.
Abstracts Book. 2012 Annual European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy
Conference, Utrecht, 2012.
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Baldacchino S, Camilleri L, Cachia MJ, Fava S, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM.
Development of tools to assess the complication risk in Maltese type 2 diabetic patients.
Abstract Book. 41st European Association of Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, Barcelona,
October 2012 (accepted).
Brincat AM, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Human papillomavirus awareness.
Abstract Book. 41st European Association of Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, Barcelona,
October 2012 (accepted).
Busuttil K, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Responding to urinary tract infections
during pregnancy in community pharmacy. Abstract Book. 2012 International
Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Buttigieg S, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Quality improvements in good
distribution practice. Abstracts Book, 8th World Meeting on Pharmaceutics,
Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Istanbul, March 2012.
Cachia D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Use of compliance aid devices. Abstract
Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012
(accepted).
Camilleri F, Grech L, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. A framework for a register for
biological agents in rheumatology. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical
Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Camilleri S, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Perception of oral anti-cancer treatment.
Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam, October
2012 (accepted).
Carbonaro MJ, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Dissemination of protocols for the
management of gastro-intestinal disorders. Abstract Book. 2012 International
Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Cassar D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Chronopharmacology in the Management
of Hypertension. Abstract Book. 40th European Association of Clinical Pharmacy
Symposium, Dublin, October 2011.
Cassar K, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Critical analysis of the dispensing process
at a general hospital pharmacy. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical
Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
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Cole M, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A - Chronopharmacology and the Management
of Type I Diabetes Mellitus. Abstract Book. 40th European Association of Clinical
Pharmacy Symposium, Dublin, October 2011.
Coleiro D, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Storage of Medicines. Abstracts Book,
8th World Meeting on Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical
Technology, Istanbul, March 2012.
Cuschieri K, Grech L, Coleiro B, Serracino Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Side effects of
methotrexate treatment in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Abstract Book, ESCP Annual
Conference, Dublin, October 2011.
Cutajar S, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A - Pharmacist-Led Point-of-Care Testing in
Hypercholesterolaemia. Abstract Book, ESCP Annual Conference, Dublin, October
2011.
Demanuele A, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Developing GMP systems for partial
manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. Abstracts Book, 8th World Meeting on
Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Istanbul, March
2012.
Faggiano ME, Azzopardi LM, Lattarulo M. Il booklet del farmacista di reparto: uno
strumento di appropriatezza clinica. Abstract Book. 23 Congresso della Societa’
Italiana di Farmacia Ospedaliera, Bari, October 2012 (accepted).
Fenech D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Impact of a pharmacist-driven breast
cancer awareness intervention. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical
Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Grech L, Aquilina D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino Inglott A, Ferrito V, Borg A.
Pharmaceutical Care in the Management of Paediatric Rheumatology Patients. Abstract
Book. 40th European Association of Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, Dublin, October
2011.
Grech L, Aquilina D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino Inglott A, Ferrito V, Borg AA.
Development of pharmaceutical care service within a paediatric rheumatology
outpatients clinic, Abstract Book, EULAR Annual European Congress, Berlin, June
2012.
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Grech L, Coleiro B, Borg A.A. Serracino Inglott A, Azzopardi LM, Ferrito V.
Development of medication assessment tools specific for rheumatoid arthritis, Abstract
Book, EULAR Annual European Congress, Berlin, June 2012.
Mercieca C, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Perception of a newsletter for
community pharmacists. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical Federation,
Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Muscat M, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Use of paediatric protocols as training
tools for pharmacy students. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical
Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Muscat Terribile C, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Development and evaluation of a
quality system as an educational tool for pharmacy students in a laboratory setting.
Abstracts Book, 8th World Meeting on Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and
Pharmaceutical Technology, Istanbul, March 2012.
Petroni V, Zarb Adami M, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Pharmaceutical services
in lifestyle modifications: overweight and obesity. Abstract Book. 41st European
Association of Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, Barcelona, October 2012 (accepted).
Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Experiential learning activity within the Erasmus
student mobility programme. Abstracts Book. 2012 Annual European Association of
Faculties of Pharmacy Conference, Utrecht, 2012.
Spiteri M, Attard E, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Development of a herbal
medicine formulary to promote patients’ safety. Abstract Book. 41st European
Association of Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, Barcelona, October 2012 (accepted).
Stivala B, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Compliance with protocols for eye
conditions. Abstract Book. 2012 International Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam,
October 2012 (accepted).
Soler B, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Veterinary Medicines: knowledge and
perception of maltese pharmacists and pharmacy students. Abstract Book. 2012
International Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
Zammit AM, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Attitudes, practices and beliefs of
healthcare professionals towards Chlamydia. Abstract Book. 2012 International
Pharmaceutical Federation, Amsterdam, October 2012 (accepted).
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Zerafa R, Serracino-Inglott A, Wismayer L, Azzopardi LM. A mini-scale oral solid
dosage production facility. 8th World Meeting on Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and
Pharmaceutical Technology, Istanbul, March 2012.
Other Publications
Attard D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A.
Compliance with protocols in dental
conditions, The Synapse. 2012 (accepted for publication).
Coleiro D, Serracino-Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. Storing medicines while reducing electricity
consumption. The Synapse. 2012 (accepted for publication).
Presentations
Azzopardi LM, Pharmacy Education in Europe, oral presentation, American Association
of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Conference, Kissimmee, July 2012.
Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott. Student perceptions of drugs that changed the world.
Oral presentation. 2012 Annual European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy
Conference, Utrecht, 2012.
Cassar D, Azzopardi LM, Serracino-Inglott A. Chronopharmacology in the Management
of Hypertension. Oral presentation 40th European Association of Clinical Pharmacy
Symposium, Dublin, October 2011.
Projects externally funded
a) Research and Innovation Programme 2008 (MCST) part-funded.
Project: Increasing the yield in the Production of Slow release Pellets in the manufacture
of tablets and capsules (IҮPOS)
Project coordinator – Professor Lilian M. Azzopardi (Department of Pharmacy)
Collaborating partner – Starpharma Ltd. Malta
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The rationale is to improve on present process of manufacturing of slow release pellets
to ensure a better yield. This will make the process more competitive and improve quality
within a Good Manufacturing Process-led environment
b) RTDI funded project: Modulation of nuclear receptor function – an in-silico approach.
Co-ordinator - Dr Claire Shoemake (Department of Pharmacy)
Conferences/seminars/meetings
a) The Annual Pharmacy Symposium was organized by the Department of Pharmacy
this year between the 5 and 9 March at the Aula Magna, Valletta Campus. During
the symposium the pharmacy students finishing their MPharm degree and students
in their final year of the course leading to a degree in Master of Science in Pharmacy
presented their dissertations. Second, third and fourth year students presented their
work-in-progress project. The symposium was an opportunity for students at the
department of pharmacy, staff and collaborators of the department of pharmacy to
meet, network and discuss research programmes.
b) Conferences where members of staff participated:
 40TH European Society of Clinical Pharmacy Symposium, Dublin, October 2011
 8th World Meeting on Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical
Technology, Istanbul, March 2012.
 British Society for Rheumatology Annual Conference, Glasgow, May 2012.
 2012 European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy Conference, May 2012.
 EULAR, European League against Rheumatism Annual Conference, Berlin, June
2012.
 2012 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting, Kissimee, July
2012.
c) Other international activities
University of Tromso, Norway- visiting external examiner, PhD (Lilian M. Azzopardi)
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University of Bari, Italy- visiting external examiner, Specializazzione di Farmacia
Clinica (Lilian M. Azzopardi)
General Secretary position held by Lilian M. Azzopardi for the European Association
of Faculties of Pharmacy.
Collaboration with third parties
a) Establishment of collaboration for student placements and/or joint research
programmes.
Clinical and Hospital Pharmacy:
Mater Dei Hospital clinical departments and
department of pharmacy.
Karin
Grech
Rehabilitation
Hospital,
Pharmacy department
Sir Paul Boffa Oncology Hospital
Government authorities:
Government Pharmaceutical Services
Community pharmacy:
Private community pharmacies
Pharmaceutical Industry:
Starpharma, Actavis, Aurobindo, Poligas,
Arrow Pharm Ltd.
Regulatory Affairs:
Associated Drugs, Freedor, JV Pharma
Others:
Malta Pharmaceutical Association, Malta
Chamber of Commerce
Erasmus collaborations:
Student-staff mobility with several schools of
pharmacy in Italy, France, Spain, Germany,
Brussels, Poland, United Kingdom
International collaboration
School of Pharmacy, University of Illinois,
Chicago, USA
School of Pharmacy, University of Bari, Bari,
Italy
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b) Actavis Collaborative Agreement
On the 29 September 2011, a collaborative agreement was signed by the Rector of the
the University of Malta, Professor Juanito Camilleri between the Department and Actavis
Ltd. The three year Agreement covers support towards the teaching and research
programmes of the Department of Pharmacy. Through this agreement, Actavis Ltd. is
co-ordinating the design and printing of the Department’s journal, the Journal of
Euromed Pharmacy (JEMP) that carries research papers from post-graduate students.
The Journal of Euromed Pharmacy is published jointly with the Malta Pharmaceutical
Association. The Actavis Award for the student with the best presentation during the
Annual Pharmacy Symposium is also governed within this agreement.
c) Sterling, Malta Research Lab
Sterling Malta have signed a collaborative agreement with the Department of Pharmacy
and are supporting a pharmaceutical chemistry research lab. This has led to the
installation of state-of-the art equipment used in pharmaceutical research. Sterling Malta
and the Department of Pharmacy are collaborating on research projects in the
development of processes for innovative processes in the manufacture of Active
Pharmaceutical Ingredients.
d) 2nd Course in Clinical Pharmacy, Joint programme with the School of Pharmacy,
University of Bari (18-22 June 2012)
The joint course in clinical pharmacy organised in collaboration with the school of
pharmacy of the University of Bari was again organised this year. The course is
directed to pharmacists from the University of Bari who are following a post-graduate
course in Clinical Pharmacy. The participants are exposed to hands-on experiential
sessions and workshops.
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In October 2011, the new three-year course leading to the... Pharmaceutical Technology was commenced and five students were enrolled on... Department of Pharmacy