PEC CFF - Continuing Education Program from the Federal Council of Pharmacy

PEC CFF - Continuing Education Program from the Federal Council of Pharmacy

São Paulo, BrazilSão Paulo, Brazil
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Recovering pharmaceutical pride within the Brazilian health system is of extreme importance for the care of the population relative to how they are currently medicated. The PEC CFF comes to transform the perception of health professionals inside pharmacies, training them to better serve and tend to patients, which will cause a structural change in the country´s health system.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Deficiency of pharmaceutical care in pharmacies for populations looking for medicines and / or requiring a follow-up with guidance on how to follow the drug treatment safely after a medical diagnosis. Allow the Brazilian population to have access to quality information and guidance from trained professionals at the time of access and adherence to medication in the pharmacy.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through free education and distance learning, we train health professionals serving the population in pharmacies, so he/she is better prepared to provide the proper and safe pharmaceutical care to patients, monitoring and ensuring adherence to treatment. In the long-term, this is relieving the public health system in Brazil by involving new actors from different areas in the search for a systemic change of quality pharmaceutical service in Brazil.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Unite diverse areas of ​​operation within the Brazilian market to, jointly, provide training for health care professionals throughout Brazil, and thus, make the pharmacy a point of service and patient care. This allows the population to have another reliable and reference option, regarding treatment and guidance on health.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Currently there are 27,532 health professionals (among pharmacists, clerks and pharmacy students) part of PEC CFF throughout Brazil. We estimate that these professionals reach approximately 30% of the existing number of community pharmacies in Brazil, since, in the registration of students, it is required to include the CNPJ (National Register of Legal Entities) of where the student works. Thus, 30% of community pharmacies have one or more trained and conscious employees, part of PEC CFF. They are more capable to revolutionize the way population sees the dispensation medicine and primary services in pharmacy. We know that this is just the beginning of a long journey towards excellence on the topic. Not only public awareness should be clear on the subject, as well as retailers need to be aware, engaged and investing significantly in this type of service.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In 2013, we intend to reach 35 thousand students until the end of the year. We also plan to engage the population in a campaign with the Ministry of Health In parallel, we plan to increase, by 2014, the engagement of major pharmaceutical retailers, addressing the topic as a major potential differential provision of service to its customers, placing the program into their development plans for HR professionals who operate in the stores.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The two components of the project are the Federal Council of Pharmacy, the Magazine Koiros, the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC). At the moment, the only situation that we see as a potential barrier to the project's future is unpredictable political dynamics between these actors, which could negatively impact some strategic changes on how the projects are managed. However, we consider this possibility very low due to the successes the project has achieved up until today and will keep achieving in the long run. We have in the market today other sources of training for pharmacists and clerks (PEC Farma Zambom / IDVF, Torrent, Racine), but none of them is focused on pharmaceutical care. And they have lower academic relevance compared to PEC CFF.

Founding Story

In 2009 the ANVISA (National Agency for Sanitary Vigilance) reinforced the need for the pharmaceutical presence in the process of dispensing medications to the population, as it noticed that this professional was apart from this practice. We researched and found a gap in the technical training of this professional, and, consequently, a gap in knowledge of the poplation regarding Pharmaceutical Care in retail. This is how PEC CFF emerged.
Organization Name

Boehringer Ingelheim do Brasil Quimica e Farmacêutica LTDA

About You
About You
First Name


Last Name

Peçanha Lacerda de Lima

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Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?

The project is a public-private partnership that aims to promote national accessibility to the subject of 'Pharmaceutical Care' for professionals working within the pharmaceutical retail chain.
Through continuing education and distance learning, we developed a free platform for online training and evaluation that features technical and specialized content on pharmaceutical practices, and focuses on serving the population, especially in the moment of dispensing medicines. The modules are supplemented with assertive educational material, having practical cases that explains the dynamics of caring at pharmacy windows in Brazil.

Focusing on pharmacists, people working in pharmacy windows, pharmacy students and professionals in the pharmacy retail, PEC CFF seeks to promote systemic behavioral change in how the Brazilian population is received, treated and served in pharmacies. This occurs in the realm of dispensing medicines, answering recurring questions about health, and contributing to a better adherence to treatment (in response to the identification of the pathology after medical consultation).

Currently, this type of monitoring is scarce for doctors and not well structured for professionals working in community pharmacies.

Therefore, we believe that through proper pharmaceutical care, in the long-term, community pharmacies can relieve the public health system, especially as related to primary care (blood pressure measurement, diabetes, fever, etc.) and follow-up treatment for patients.

Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?

In Brazil, there are isolated pharmaceutical laboratories that encourage continuing education in partnership with educational institutions. However, only the PEC CFF has content developed by USP (University of São Paulo, the primary reference in scientific matters in Brazil), certified by the MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture of Brazil ) and by the Federal Council of Pharmacy.

It is a training program for the short, medium and long term, aiming to develop professionals within the pharmaceutical retail chain in order to make the customer/patient care safer. They will have a trustworthy person tending to their treatments and health, being able to supply failures and gaps in the health system and access problems in remote areas, far from hospitals.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

There are five pillars that support the implementation and success of the PEC CFF: content, technology, recognition, academic certification and funding. USP (University of São Paulo) acts as a provider of technical content - the primary pharmaceutical reference in Brazil with an emphasis on international studies and updated Pharmaceutical Care subjects. Kairos provides technology for the online system, because of their experience across the pharmaceutical chain, particularly in monitoring prices of medicines in Brazil. The Federal Board of Pharmacy, the highest body that regulates the pharmacy profession in the country, and the MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture), recognize the program, generating great credibility to the students. Finally, Boehringer Ingelheim believes in the program and finances all of the costs.

How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?

Through partnerships with different sectors (education, health, industry, communications and retail): Surveys with pharmacists and clerks who are part of the program. Globally recognized content that's updated and relevant to the health professional, contributing to the development of their career and best practices in services at the pharmacy. Discussion groups with patients receiving this distinguished service, in order to obtain information for the benefit of the improvement of the project. Technological advances to meet the high growth of online students within the program (in three years, we reached about 30 thousand students online).

Organization Country

, SP, São Paulo

Business Model
The systemic challenge you are trying to overcome (select one)

Bring accessible healthcare to communities in emerging markets

Health area (target market) where the need is [select only one]

Chronic care

Categories along the health continuum you are covering [select all that apply]

Prevention, Follow-up, Long-term care, Social integration.

Stage that best applies to your solution [select only one]

Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)

Core strategies of your business model [select all that apply]

Approaches to behavioral change at the individual level, Redesign of the public healthcare system for more efficiency (in terms of processes, structure etc.), New/redefined roles for healthcare service provision, New approaches to distribution of health products and services, Unconventional partnerships (between traditional healthcare players and players outside healthcare).

If other, specify here:
Most relevant tools you are using to implement the strategies outlined above [select only two]

Technology, New skills, Education/training.

If other, specify here:
What is your value proposition?

In the short term, to contribute to the empowerment and development of professionals working in pharmacies (graduates or those studying or working in the pharmacy window), improving their ability to find employment.

In the medium term, to encourage the development of the retail pharmacist and to establish a relationship of trust between the local population and community pharmacies, through the best care provided by their pharmacists and clerks. We believe that good entrepreneurial practices of a retail pharmacist will bring a whole chain movement, due to the highly competitive industry, which benefits the whole population with increasingly skilled and safe care.

In the long run, relieve the public health system through quality primary care in pharmacies.

Who is your customer(s)?

Pharmacists and clerks who work in retail are directly impacted by the program, because the certification is geared directly toward this target group.
This program helps pharmacy students notice that the subject of Pharmaceutical Care will guide the future of their careers and their professional success in the long run.
Executives and senior leadership of the retail pharmacy, through our program, realize that the practice of pharmaceutical care in their companies can be a competitive advantage for short, medium and long-term satisfaction, and generate customer loyalty.
And finally, the society, because of proper care by qualified and trained professionals, brings security to their health treatments.

What approaches to you use to reach your customers?

The communication of the program is conducted by the website of the Federal Council of Pharmacy, through a fixed banner on the main page. This site has daily access because the dispensation of some types of medications must be recorded in the CFF system. Another approach is the publishing of some modules of the classes in the pharmaceutical magazine Koiros. Boehringer Ingelheim team visits pharmacies and promotes the Program to 12,000 community pharmacies across the country. In all communication action, we highlight the changes that the program brings to individual participants - like career growth and social benefits for the Brazilian population. Moreover, we have seen that "word-of-mouth" among students is also very important.

What are your primary activities?

Develop, implement and monitor updated and relevant content about the practices of pharmaceutical care for the health professional who operates within the retail pharmacy chain. This will contribute to the development of his/her career and improve the provided services within the community pharmacy, reflected in the quality attendance and confidence of the population.

Also, we offer certificates to the participants who attend the full course during the current year.
To bring more didactic content to the program, we develop practical case studies through 'Further Reading,' which reflect real situations of how patients should be treated in community pharmacy under the vision of Pharmaceutical Care.

What other challenges - individual, organizational, or environmental – are you currently facing or might hinder future success of your business, and how do you plan to overcome those?

Our biggest challenge has to do with the political sphere, involving partners of the program. Changes in the management of these institutions could reflect negatively on the operation of the project. In contrast, the constant alignment that we do with all the involved actors, clearly defining roles and responsibilities, allows us to minimize potential risks, especially when we see that PEC CFF has operation for 2 years and 4 months with positive engagement from all actors.

Briefly describe your growth strategy going forward

To grow the number of participants; promote presential classes throughout Brazil, in partnership with regional pharmacy councils; engage the retail industry in the pharmcaceutical care matters; create campaigns for the population to make them aware of the importance of pharmaceutical care before, during and after the treatments with medicines, in partnership with new health bodies such as the Ministry of Health.

What dimensions for growth are you currently targeting for your innovation [select all that apply]

New customer group(s), New regions(s), New market(s)/country(ies).

What makes your business "ready" for growth?

In 2 years and 4 months, CFF PEC already has more than 28,000 active students in the program. Also, the high level relevance of the content combined with the certification of the program and the good online platform (which is able to support future growth), assure its success - short, medium and long term.

What are your key growth objectives?

To change the image of the pharmacist in the health scenario in Brazil, increasing his/her relevance in serving the population, and this, alleviating the healthcare system and being one more reference for the well being of the patient, mainly focused on dispensing drugs to the population.
Also, to educate the population and change their level of exigency for these services.

Organization's Country of Operation

, SP, São Paulo

Social Impact
What methods for quantification of social impact are you applying (if at all)?

Data collection system, interviews and testimonials with the participants and supporters of the program.
For the future, we would like to have ambassadors of the program spread across the regions of the country, to reaffirm the importance of the qualification of the pharmacist in providing pharmaceutical care services to patients within the pharmacy. Methodologically, comparison studies of the scenarios - before and after the training period of participants.

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

Currently, PEC CFF operates throughout Brazil.The integration of all actors involved in the project can be replicated as a model in other countries, reinforcing the worldwide practice of pharmaceutical care in dispensing medicines to the population.
In addition, the expansion and globalization of the retail chains, where it applies to the practice of pharmaceutical care, encourage positive competition among markets, spreading awareness and the practice of the subject.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

First, significantly increase the number of students certified by the program, reaching at least 50% of community pharmacies with at least one student participant in the program per pharmacy.
Continue engaging stakeholders and seeking new partnerships that add value to the program, as well the incoming support of the the Ministry of Health.

Focus on population awareness on the issue, because it is the target of this new pharmaceutical approach and it will help accelerate the development of the retail chain and of the practices of pharmaceutical care.
And finally, we expect that the retail sector, at the end of three years, will already have their pharmaceutical care model tested and approved for expansion within their group of stores.

Elaborate on your current financing strategy

Boehringer Ingelheim covers all costs directly involved in the operation and functioning of the PEC CFF, including:
  - Hosting and maintenance of the online platform
  - Expenses with employees involved in the operation
  - Expenses with professionals who develop the technical content of the programs
  - Expenses with technical consultant who develops 'Further Readings' (practical study cases)
  - Certificates
  - Production and distribution Magazine Koiros to 12,000 community pharmacies by Brazil
  - Expenses with presential classes

Boehringer Ingelheim Brazil is the only source provider of financial resources. There is no other type of financial incentive of the other actors involved in the project.

Share of revenue generation in total income of organization (in percent)

The PEC CFF is not a revenue generator for the organization.

Direct sales to patients or other beneficiaries (in percent)

The PEC CFF does not sells its activities or certificates. We offer free services for education and training.

Of the possible sources of these sales listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Licensing fees, e.g., for technology/franchise model (in percent)

PEC CFF does not work with it.

Of the possible sources of these licensing opportunities listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Private businesses.

Service contract with organizations, e.g., government, NGOs (in percent)

100% between Boehringer Ingelheim of Brazil and K@iros magazine.

Of the possible sources of the service contracts listed below, check all that apply to your current strategy

Private businesses, National government, Others.

Explain your revenue generation strategy in more detail

The PEC CFF is not a revenue-generating project. It is sustainable due to support from Boehringer Ingelheim, as it believe that pharmacists make a difference in the health and welfare of the population - intrinsic values ​​in the company's mission.

Share of philanthropy in total income of organization (in percent)

The PEC CFF is not a revenue-generating project.

Philanthrophy strategies you are using

Single strategy.

Explain your philanthropic approach in more detail

Through research, Boehringer Ingelheim noticed an opportunity to train health care professionals within the Brazilian community pharmacies. There are many academic/professional gaps in this subject in addition to the size of the country, which makes it difficult the to access reference institutions.

While researching key trends in order to better meet the Brazilian population demands at the time of dispensing medicines, the pharmaceutical care theme stood out as a global issue of greatest relevance to the population. It is aligned with the mission of Boehringer Ingelheim, and strives for health, wellness and innovation accessibility o humanity, PEC CFF emerged with an important mission: free training for pharmacists and better service for the population.

Expand on your selections; explain how you will sustain funding over the next 1-3 years.

Boehringer Ingelheim Brazil intends to support the project for an indefinite period, in the same way that it is being currently funded, as there is a social impact very much aligned with the company's values​​.
In the future, awareness campaigns for the population about Pharmaceutical Care may be funded through partnerships, mainly with the Ministry of Health.

Years in Operation

Operating 1-5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

Elected 9 times elected one of the "100 best companies to work for in Brazil",byt Great Place to Work Institute

Época NEGÓCIOS 360º Guide
2nd place "Best pharmaceutical industry"