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E-learning modules for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

In our latest update article on pharmacy for London 2012, David Mottram provides a summary of the devlopment of an e-learning education package on sports and fitness

By David Mottram

In our latest update article on pharmacy for London 2012, David Mottram provides a summary of the devlopment of an e-learning education package on sports and fitness

With the London Olympic Games due to begin on 27 July 2012, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) Clinical Pharmacy Services Group is pleased to report that the organisation of clinical pharmacy services for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is on track and progressing well.

The three polyclinic pharmacies at the athlete villages in Stratford, Eton Dorney and Weymouth are designed and well under construction. The recruitment process for the volunteers who will be running the pharmacies is near completion. The Olympic Formulary is in the final stages of development and all pharmacy policies and procedures have been written.

A major undertaking of the Clinical Pharmacy Services Group has been the development, in collaboration with the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), of an e-learning education package. This package is entitled “The use of drugs in sport: a healthcare professional’s perspective”.


The aim of the package is to update users’ knowledge and understanding about the important role that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other healthcare professionals play in the area of sports and fitness.
The package comprises three programmes:

• Doping and anti-doping in sport
• Pharmacy services and support in sport and fitness
• Medical services at international sporting events

The history of doping is traced from the time of the ancient Olympics. The roles and responsibilities of anti-doping agencies are described, including the development and content of the current World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Practical information is provided on the classes of drugs and methods that are banned in sport. Processes for drug testing in sport and the sanctions that apply are outlined. Direction is given as to how athletes and healthcare professionals can establish whether a particular medicine contains a prohibited substance.

The role of pharmacists in supporting athletes and other members of the general public who participate in sports and fitness regimes is explained. This role relates to dealing with common injuries and minor ailments suffered by people undertaking physical activity. The best practice for treatment or referral is reviewed. Specific advice is given on the potential benefits and dangers associated with the use of supplements.

Finally, a review is presented on the scope of medical services at major international sporting events. Particular attention is paid to the use of medicines at such events and the important role for pharmacy in ensuring the safe use of drugs, particularly by athletes.

Who will use the package?

The primary objective for the development of these programmes was that the e-learning package will provide a valuable body of knowledge to support the role of pharmacist and pharmacy technician volunteers who will be running the polyclinic pharmacies during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The pharmacy volunteers will be required to undertake the package and to pass the associated assessment as a prerequisite for acceptance as volunteers.

It is important that pharmacists are fully aware of the issues surrounding drug and supplement use in sport and the role of pharmacists in advising members of the public who participate in sports and exercise. The
e-learning package is, therefore, available to all  pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the UK through the CPPE website (

Furthermore, it is envisaged that other non-pharmacy healthcare professionals may be interested in learning more about drug use in sports and exercise. The CPPE is, therefore, intending to advertise this package through other healthcare organisations both nationally and internationally.
The e-learning programmes will be continually updated and maintained by CPPE beyond 2012. This will provide a valuable legacy for healthcare professionals beyond the games.

David Mottram is a member of the Olympic and Paralympic Pharmacy Clinical Services Group


Back to London 2012

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11088827

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