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RPS quits pharmacy body that it helped found in 1912

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has decided “not to renew [its] organisational membership” of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) this year, over a century after it helped establish it. 

The RPS was one of the founding members of the Netherlands-based global body representing pharmacy in 1912.

In making the decision to leave FIP's network of 140 pharmacy member organisations, the RPS “carefully considered how best to serve [its] members and meet [its] charter obligations”, it said in a statement yesterday (March 17).

The move will help the RPS “focus on [the] delivery of [its] mission and vision” while remaining “outwardly focused and [an] internationally aware organisation”, it wrote.


FIP: RPS’s “regretful” decision


Responding to the news of the RPS’s exit, FIP wrote it was “regretful” the RPS had chosen to so “at a time when global solidarity on issues that affect us all”.

Issues such as “pharmacy workforce capacity, antimicrobial resistance, access to medicines and pharmaceutical care, and sustainability” are affecting sector professionals everywhere, FIP said.


Read more: Updated: RPS could scrap two senior roles in executive team restructure


The organisation did not confirm how much the RPS used to pay for its FIP membership, but said it believes "that the fee would currently be less than a pound per member each year"

It would happily welcome the RPS back into the network should its “circumstances […] change in the future”, it said.

In the meantime, FIP said it will continue to work with its UK members towards securing safe and affordable access to medicines and pharmaceutical care services provided by pharmacists.


RPS to remain "friend" of FIP


The RPS will “remain a friend and supporter” of FIP and recognises “the important role” the global body “plays in pharmacy”, it said.

It pledged to continue being an “active participant in global pharmacy policy” and be “at the forefront of world-wide efforts to reduce antimicrobial resistance, end environmental harm and promote inclusiveness and diversity across the profession”.

But its decision to leave FIP was fiercely questioned by some Twitter users, including former chief pharmaceutical officer for England Keith Ridge, who asked how the RPS could state that it would remain “outwardly focused and internationally aware” without being a FIP member.

Meanwhile, others asked why the RPS had not communicated this decision to its members prior to resolving to leave FIP.

The RPS has recently been in the spotlight for announcing that it could potentially make two senior roles within its executive board redundant as part of a strategy to strengthen the organisation’s “viability”.

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