ESPA is the European Pharmaceutical Students’ Assosication. It is a non-governmental, not for profit organisation, which is also non-political and non-religious. It represents thirty severn associations of pharmacy students from thirty different countries. Over 160,000 students from across Europe are represented.

ESPA’s mission statement ‘Bringing pharmacy, knowledge and students together’, is a summary of the organisations aims in promoting the opinions of students in order to improve the scientific advances, education and training of pharmacists across Europe.

The headquarters of ESPA is in Brussels, Belgium, having previously been located in Leiden, Netherlands. On a daily basis, from its headquarters, the organisation aims to promote the pharmacist as a key role in public health.

Annual Congress

The ESPA annual congress takes place every year, at a different location across Europe. It is the largest and most significant event in the ESPA calendar, and the most important event that pharmacy students attempt to attend every year. It usually takes place in April. At the event, all ESPA members have an excellent opportunity to network and discuss the organisations aims and priorities for that year. They also have plenty of opportunity to discuss current pharmacy practice and research in general.

There is both a social agenda to ESPA, as well as strong educational workshops. Also, the first ESPA General Assembly meeting of that year is carried out at the annual congress. The event is scheduled to be severn days long.

This year, the 37th ESPA Annual Comgress took place, which was held in Budapest, Hungary. Around 400 pharmacy students attended the event from across Europe. An action packed agenda took place which involved lectures during the symposium, as well as soft skills training, and of course sightseeing, sport as well as parties. It is very much viewed as an event that allows pharmacy students to re-energise and become re-inspired to face the challenges of the coming year.

Autumn Assembly and Summer University

As well as the Annual Congress, there are two other significant, important events that lead on from the Annual Congress. The Autumn Assembly is the second most important event in the annual ESPA calendar. This often takes place in October every year. This is where the work of the organisation is looked at and reviewed at the half way point od the year. Again, it also aims to re-motivte and re-inspire the organisations membership and encourage them to renew their commitment. This event is usally organised by ESPA and another organisation, such as the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy, or the Drug Information Association.

The Summer University takes place every summer, in July. Again, there is a significant social as well as educational agenda. Suring this evern there is no General Assembly meeting, unlike the other ESPA events.

ESPA, therefore is a busy organisation that takes its role in inspiring, educating and improving the understanding of pharmacy on a European scale amongst students of the subject very seriously. Its annual membership continues to grow, as it does its most important event of the year, the Annual Congress.