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Although at the present time the management of medical devices (MDs) is not within the remit of all hospital pharmacy departments in Spain, it is also true that there are many pharmacies, in both public and private hospitals which, for various reasons, including a desire to take on greater responsibilities or to optimize their resources, or the conviction that it could bring them significant added value, undertake the management of medical devices or actively encourage their rational use in their hospitals.

Medical device stewardship being a multidisciplinary responsibility, an in-depth technical understanding of medical devices and their potential risks, as well as of their potential influence on the results of drug therapy and their interpretation, is becoming a vital prerequisite for any professional dedicated to patient care.

It is therefore indispensable to motivate hospital pharmacists to become involved in the management of medical devices as useful and necessary components of patients’ diagnosis and treatment processes, as well as to develop specific training programs that enable them to work collaboratively with other professionals and make well-grounded proposals related to the technical and safety and impact-related aspects of drug therapy.

Every hospital should build its own system for managing medical devices based on the existing legislation, and hospital pharmacists should play an active part in this process.  Although pharmacists need not participate in every single step of the management process, they should however be involved in the management of MDs related to the drug administration given the repercussion of such processes for the efficacy and safety of the medicines administered.

There is widespread awareness of the legal responsibility assigned to pharmacists by Law 41/2006 (29/2006) on the warranties and rational use of medicines and medical devices, which mentions our specific clinical and research-related responsibilities as regards medical devices. Laws have also been enacted by the different autonomous regions to this effect. Aspects such as pharmacists’ active role in reporting incidents with medical devices or our participation in the medical device alert network are currently a reality across all Spanish hospital pharmacies, irrespectively of whether they may be more or less involved with managing medical devices.