The International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation

By: Aleksandra Trakilovic | Posted on: 17 August 2016

The International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF) is the leading international advocacy organisation for pharmacy students around the world. It consists of approximately 350,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates in over 80 countries.

IPSF focuses on improving public health and developing pharmacy education and research on contemporary issues in global health and the pharmacy profession. There are numerous opportunities for the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) members to engage with IPSF and use the international platform to learn, network, and develop their leadership and interpersonal skills.

This year NAPSA members were invited to participate in the 15th Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium (APPS), the 62nd IPSF World Congress in Zimbabwe, the World Health Assembly and the Student Exchange Programme.


NAPSA was represented by 14 pharmacy students at APPS in Korea. Delegates were provided insight into the challenges and future for biopharmaceutics and the regulatory approval process for these products was outlined. The role of pharmacists in infectious disease was also examined with Ms. Jae-Ouk Kim speaking on behalf of the International Vaccine Institute about childhood vaccination in developing countries. Minister Mun-Gi Sohn from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and Professor Choong-Ho Lee of Dongguk University provided students with a comprehensive understanding of the medical and social roles of pharmacists in controlling disease.

Pharmacy students, Ms. Anthea Mausolf (University of South Australia), Mr. Johnny Nguyen (Monash University), Ms. Adelya Sukmadewati (University of Sydney) and Ms. Aleksandra Trakilovic (Monash University) achieved second place in the Clinical Skills Event, Jeopardy.

Mr. William Hagan (University of Queensland) participated in the Leaders in Training program which proceeded the symposium. Mr. Hagan said, "the event was enlightening and I believe it has equipped me with skills that will be invaluable in future leadership roles and professional career".

NAPSA would like to express their gratitude towards the Korean National Association for Pharmaceutical Students (KNAPS) for hosting the event and providing their delegates with extraordinary learning opportunities and experiences.

World Congress

The 62nd IPSF World Congress in Zimbabwe had 6 NAPSA members in attendance. Mr. Yacoob Moustafa (University of Tasmania), Mr. Dzung Quoc Tran (Charles Darwin University) and Ms. Monique Scott (University of Tasmania) were official delegates and represented NAPSA in General Assembly; the highest decision making body of the federation. Mr. Yacoob Moustafa was later elected as the Chairperson of External Relations and will serve on the IPSF executive committee for one year starting from October. NAPSA would like to acknowledge Mr Moustafa's hard work and determination as well as congratulate him on this tremendous achievement.

Mr. Steven Defrenne (Curtin University), Mr. Ton Pham (James Cook University) and Ms. Amy Vandenberg (University of Tasmania) were among other NAPSA delegates who attended. Mr Defrenne and Ms Vandenburg said, "we were fortunate enough to visit a children's orphanage as part of an inter-regional humanitarian project held during the congress. Delegates donated school equipment, basic hygiene supplies and reading material. The reactions of the children touched the hearts of all who attended the event and it was truly an unforgettable moment. Participants were also encouraged to complete workshops which covered a wide breadth of topics. One particular workshop that stood out was the Drug Addiction and Mental Health Workshop which was held by our very own Australian delegate, Yacoob Moustafa".

Student Exchange Program

The Student Exchange Programme began in December. Zimbabwe student, Tanaka made Melbourne her home for 4 weeks and undertook a placement in a community pharmacy. She described it at as an eye opening experience and one that she will never forget. Following Tanaka's placement, NAPSA sent two of their members, Mr. David McLaren (University of Canberra) and Mr. Joshua Szitovszky (La Trobe University) to Germany. Their community placement lasted for 3 weeks and was described by Mr. McLaren as an unbelievable experience. During the month of July Melbourne hosted Ms. Chai Yi Wen from Malaysia and Ms. Bethany Astbury from the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Virginia Cheung form the United States of America was placed in Sydney. NAPSA would like to thank Chemmart Pharmacy East Bentleigh, Chemistworks Broadway and Priceline Pharmacy West Brunswick for their participation in the program.

Driven by a passion to improve our profession, there has been no shortage of NAPSA members being exemplary role models on the international stage. Outgoing NAPSA IPSF Chair, Aleksandra Trakilovic said, "thank you to all our delegates and international friends for the memories. Until next time, Viva la Pharmacie!"

Aleksandra Trakilovic

Outgoing NAPSA IPSF Chair

The National Australian Pharmacy Students Association

Media Contacts:

William Hagan: 0418410355

Adelya Sukmadewati: 0430011504

Steve Defrenne: 0447844468

Amy Vandenberg: 0414877173

Aleksandra Trakilovic: 0451106100