The quality of medicine and the way a medicine is prescribed, delivered or simply taken by the patients are key factors that can have a direct impact on the efficiency of a treatment and can put the patients’ health at risk. Patients do not always receive the full benefits that their treatment can provide (e.g. due to a lack of medication adherence) and if they are not prescribed or taken properly, medicines can actually cause serious illness or even death. 

To minimise risks for patients’ health and ensure the same access to treatment for all, the EDQM is in charge of harmonising pharmaceutical practices throughout Europe. This activity covers a wide range of subjects relevant to pharmacy practice, including patients’ access to good quality medicines, promotion of patient-centred care and effective use of medicines, and quality and safety of pharmacy preparations. Pharmaceutical practices evolve and there is a need for harmonisation and sharing of knowledge and expertise across Europe.


Organisation and subordinate bodies

The European Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Care (CD-P-PH) is one of the intergovernmental steering committees of the Council of Europe. Its core mission is to support national competent authorities of the Council of Europe member States parties to the European Pharmacopoeia Convention to make the medication process safer, more responsible and accessible to all who need it.   

The CD-P-PH oversees the drafting process of legal instruments (e.g. resolutions), policies and guidance documents and exercises general oversight over the activities of the European Pharmacopoeia Commission.

The CD-P-PH also supports the European Pharmacopoeia Commission in the elaboration of the European Paediatric Formulary, i.e. an initiative to make available a formulary for extemporaneous formulations for paediatric medicines that is a compilation of monographs for their preparation based on national or regional information. The aim of this initiative is to give pharmacists and clinicians access to formulations of appropriate quality, allowing preparation of a medicinal product when no licensed alternative is available on the market. The project was launched in 2013 and is currently ongoing.

The CD-P-PH consists of senior officials in ministries and medicines agencies responsible for health policies and accomplishes its tasks with the support of three subordinate committees of experts (see below).

Communication with partners and stakeholders

Interactions take place on a regular basis with international organisations and professional bodies active in the field of public health and pharmacy practice (e.g. World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP)) in order to align efforts aimed at ensuring safe and appropriate use of medicines in Europe.

CD-P-PH Sessions

The CD-P-PH holds its annual meeting in autumn, usually on the EDQM premises.

Next annual meeting: 1-2 October 2024