Press Release

Royal Pharmaceutical Society celebrates 180-year anniversary

In 2021, we celebrate our 180th anniversary.

RPS was founded at a meeting in the Crown and Anchor Tavern on the Strand, London, on 15 April 1841. We are marking our anniversary by highlighting pharmacy’s rich heritage through the RPS Museum and highlighting the work of pharmacists in the modern world.

The first of our celebrations starts today as we proudly present a history of pharmacy and RPS, telling the story of the early Apothecaries through to the founding of RPS and beyond. The RPS Museum was originally created in 1842 to educate pharmacy students, but today its collections cover all aspects of British pharmacy history from the 1400s to the present day.

Through this fantastic resource we will:

  • Showcase pharmacy history, 
  • Reveal some of our most important historical items through a new online catalogue
  • Unveil a 180-second whistle-stop tour of the Museum’s favourite displays
  • Celebrate the history of women in pharmacy.

Looking towards the future our activities include:

  • Announcing our 2021 Charter Award to recognise outstanding work by a member in promoting the interests of pharmacy
  • Presenting a new plan for RPS 2021-2026
  • Launching our inclusive Workplace Pledge for the profession.

Our celebrations will build to our birthday in April and we’ll involve members along the way.

RPS President Sandra Gidley said: “I’m very proud to be leading RPS as we mark our 180th anniversary. Pharmacy is a vibrant, diverse profession that makes an exceptional contribution to patient care on a daily basis. I’m optimistic about what the future holds in store.”

Chief Executive Paul Bennett said: “I’m delighted we are making our amazing Museum collection more accessible through new exhibitions and an online collection.

“As well as celebrating our history with the profession, we’ll be looking to our future as a modern, outward looking organisation through the launch of a new five-year strategy for RPS. Pharmacy is rightly at the forefront of improving patient care and we will ensure our members are at the heart of future developments.”

View the online exhibition


Spread the cost of your membership


With the recent cost of living rises, we’re all making savings wherever we can – and you can do the same with your RPS membership.

Instead of paying for everything all at once, make life easier by paying monthly. After all, you use your RPS membership benefits all year round, so it makes sense to pay for them the same way.

With monthly Direct Debit, you only have a small, regular payment each month. It’s the easy way to keep practicing at your best, without making a hole in your finances!

Spread the cost of your membership - join by monthly Direct Debit today.