RPS Recognition in 2018

We give pharmacy a clear, strong voice in healthcare discussions and decisions

Our dedicated teams in England, Wales and Scotland work round the clock to engage with governments on behalf of pharmacists, shaping policy that’s better for patients and for our members. 

We've been making sure the public knows the importance of the work you do – putting pharmacy on TV, on social media, in the papers and in the spotlight.

In England

Brexit has been on everyone’s minds and we’ve talked with the government, NHS England and other pharmacy organisations to clarify the situation and advise our members.

We published the GB-wide Pharmacist Independent Prescribing policy and our Online Prescribing policy.

We’re actively involved in exploring the role of pharmacists in Primary Care Networks and Integrated Care Systems.

The number of pharmacists supporting care home residents has risen following our campaign for medicine optimisation in care homes - which was supported by an NHSE scheme.

Our mental health campaign and policy was launched in the Houses of Parliament.

As part of the LungHealth Taskforce and lung health plan, we continue to recommend the use of pharmacists to help people with respiratory disease nationally.

In Scotland

Our Good Care Starts with a Conversation campaign promoted the crucial role pharmacists play in ensuring people get the most out of their medicines. We urged the public to talk to pharmacy if they have any questions or concerns.

We were invited to speak for the profession at evidence sessions of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee. We shared our views on the Draft Budget, Access to Records, Prevention, Pharmacists Working in GP Practice and Substance Misuse.

We also achieved a major Manifesto ask from 2016. The Scottish Government committed to extend the Minor Ailment Service for everyone in Scotland, with “Pharmacy First” rolling out nationally for common clinical conditions.

We delivered 46 local events attracting more than 1,000 delegates who rated them as outstanding.

We are looking forward to developing our work on our revised care homes policy. And we'll continue to work on our public-facing campaign, raising awareness about the skills and expertise available through the pharmacy team.

In Wales

We’ve been working closely with the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee and consulting with pharmacists and hundreds of representatives from other professions, the third sector and patient groups.

Over 400 members helped us craft a vision for pharmacy services in Wales over the next decade, and we consulted across the country about the challenges of palliative and end of life care in order to establish recommendations for change.

We were busy everywhere, holding over 20 RPS Local events across every health board in Wales.  

In the media

Illustration showing publications orbiting planet Earth

Our team of media experts has grown - over 40 RPS members now appear regularly on news channels and consumer programmes to put the pharmacists’ point of view

And we’ve been talking about what matters to YOU in the media: whether medicine supplies during Brexit, medicinal cannabis, or the arrival of sildenafil in pharmacies.

We’ve been making sure your role is centre stage in the debate.

We’ve spoken on:

  • BBC Breakfast
  • BBC 6pm and 10pm News
  • BBC News channel
  • ITV News at 1pm and 10.30pm
  • SKY News
  • National radio, including Radio 4’s Today programme, You and Yours, Inside Health and Radio 5 Live
  • National press, including The Times and Sunday Times, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian and The Observer, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Daily Express. 

In our Museum and Library

An old Steedmans Powders advert

The Museum staff and their team of dedicated volunteers have added 2,062 RPS Archive records to the database, as well as reviewing over 5,800 photographs.

There are over 34,000 museum objects catalogued on their database, which takes no small amount of maintenance.

You’ve probably seen some of the Museum collection on Twitter and Instagram, but they also appear in the Treasures of the Collection series of articles in The Pharmaceutical Journal and PJ Online, every month.

The Library’s historical collections, such as the Early Printed and Hanbury Collections, are now more accessible than ever before, with 90% of the Hanbury Collection now added to our online catalogue. 

Some highlights of the collections could be seen for the first time in 2018, during Open House London. 


FIP World Congress 2018 logo

We hosted FIP World Congress in Glasgow, bringing together over 3,000 pharmacists and pharmaceutical technicians from across the world, raising the profile of UK pharmacy on the global stage (including awarding Faculty and Fellow awards to international members).

In day-to-day life

On behalf of all our members, our support team responded to consultations from bodies such as NICE, HEE, DHSC and NHS England, ensuring pharmacy has a clear, strong voice in all discussions which affect pharmacy, such as:

  • Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: an update and a consultation on further guidance for CCGs
  • Consultation on changes to the HMR2012 in relation to supply and the UK's exit from the EU
  • Cannabis-based products for medicinal use: draft scope consultation
  • Consultation: update to Consultant Pharmacist Guidance.

And our popular #WeArePharmacy campaign has been showcasing the range, diversity and importance of pharmacy across the country.

At Events

Our Science and Research Summit panel discussion, The Future of Life Sciences and Healthcare in the UK , was chaired by none other than Professor Trevor Jones CBE.

Recognising the many achievements of our members at our Fellows Dinner, Fellow and Faculty Awards, as well as collaborating with other healthcare organisations and Royal Colleges.

Visiting students from Nihon University in Japan, came to us to learn more about pharmacy in the UK.


We were honoured to welcome 10 practising pharmacists as RPS Ambassadors to reflect the work and profiles of the vast majority of our members.

Our North West London Local group had a research project accepted at the 2019 Science and Research Summit, while the Jersey group won the inaugural One Gov Partnership Award.

In Print

The PJ has been challenging those in powerful positions to listen - members thanked us for “..highlighting such an important issue in pharmacy, for raising awareness and helping the profession move forward.

And that wasn't all - PJ also kick-started a debate about the representation of women in pharmacy and the gender pay gap – the ensuing Mind the Gap discussion on Twitter was viewed over three million times.

In Science and Research

Our Chief Scientist, Professor Gino Martini, appeared on BBC Panorama’s ‘Online Doctors Uncovered’ documentary investigating the number of medicines being bought online, as well as interviewing Dame Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government), Professor Sir Michael Rawlins (Chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and Joerg Reinhardt (Chairman of Novartis) in The Pharmaceutical Journal. 

Illustration of the lifecycle of medicineOver the last year, we worked with over 80 healthcare organisations and charities, including the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry,British Pharmaceutical Students' Association, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network, Diabetes UK, schools of pharmacy and Sense about Science.

Keeping up with current events, we set up two new expert working groups to examine e-cigarettes and digital technology in healthcare, as well as producing a guide on New Psychoactive Substances.

We worked with ABPI and MHRA to produce guidance for pharmacists on monitoring of medicines safety, including the Yellow Card Scheme.

2019 will see winners announced for our two prestigious science medals:

  1. The Hanbury Memorial Medal is awarded every five years to an individual with a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical sciences. It commemorates the work of pharmacologist and botanist, Daniel Hanbury. 
  2. The Harrison Memorial Medal is, awarded every two years to a mid-career RPS member who has made an outstanding contribution in advancing pharmaceutical science. This medal commemorates Col EF Harrison, a distinguished pharmaceutical chemist.

We’ll continue to develop guidance on the uses, benefits and risks of Cannabidiol, lobby against illegal sales of DNP for weight loss, evaluate the risk and benefits of e-cigarettes, and deliver the 16th Joint Qualified Person Symposium.