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RPS plans to rejoin international pharmacy body in U-turn

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has decided to apply to rejoin the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), after an “overwhelming majority” of its members voted in favour of doing so.

The RPS invited its members to share their views on whether it should rejoin the FIP earlier this month, after many reported being “unhappy” with its decision to withdraw from the Netherlands-based global body in March.

RPS president Claire Anderson announced today (November 17) that “an overwhelming majority of [members] agreed that RPS should rejoin FIP”, leading the RPS assembly to agree to move forward with an application to do so.

The assembly proposed the RPS should once again become an FIP member from January 2023, Professor Anderson said.

However, its return to the global body will be “subject to FIP’s agreement”, she stated.

FIP CEO Catherine Duggan told C+D the body was “pleased to hear that the RPS wishes to rejoin”.

“We’d like to thank all the RPS members who have made clear that they care about access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines, health technologies and pharmaceutical care services to all, and that united action — through FIP as the global leader of pharmacy — is the best way to achieve this essential vision,” Dr Duggan added. 

Professor Anderson said she was “delighted that we have agreed to apply to rejoin the FIP at a time when they are set to refocus their membership offer”.

The RPS assembly initially decided to withdraw from FIP’s network “following discussions about [its] membership of a range of international organisations”, RPS chief executive Paul Bennett and Professor Anderson told members in an email this month.

Pharmacists C+D spoke to earlier this month all supported the move to rejoin the global body, although some criticised the RPS’s decision to leave in the first place and to not consult its members about it.


Meetings recorded for transparency


Professor Anderson also announced that the RPS had agreed to record the open business section of its assembly meetings in a bid to increase the “transparency and the accountability of assembly members”.

Read more: ‘Opaque at best’: RPS must be more transparent, review concludes

This change will also make assembly meetings “more accessible” to members and will “increase [their] understanding of RPS policy and the decisions taken”.

The RPS will also pledged to “include a greater proportion of discussion items in open business and publish the ‘headline’ of confidential agenda items”. 

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