The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has suffered a near £180,000 blow to its fee income in the past year due to a fall in the number of full members and fellows, C+D has calculated.
Last week, the RPS reported a 3 per cent increase in total membership between June 2012 and June 2013, but a 7 per cent drop in the number of full members and fellows, who pay the highest annual fees. This resulted in a 3.4 per cent (£177,533) drop in the RPS's fee income, C+D estimated.
The decrease in members and fellows paying £182 in annual fees caused an estimated £332,332 fall in income. However, this was mitigated by a sharp rise in associate members, which brought in an estimated £154,799 of extra income. Associate membership was mainly made up of pre-reg pharmacists, who pay £67 a year for their membership.
The RPS's drop in fees income this year is more modest than last year's estimated £600,000
More on the RPS
C+D's calculations made a number of assumptions. The RPS did not give a full breakdown of its associate members, so C+D has assumed pre-registration pharmacists represent 75 per cent of the category, in line with last year's estimates. C+D also assumed that all paying members benefited from a direct debit discount; if none do, the 3.4 per cent income fall totals £188,144.
C+D also assumed that all student members are UK-based, receiving free membership (overseas students pay £48) and that all full members and fellows pay standard fees (no discounts for non-practising or overseas members).
The estimated £177,533 loss in fee earnings is a more modest drop than last year's estimated £600,000, created by a 14 per cent fall in members and fellows.
Responding to this year's estimated fee income fall, the RPS said it had a strong offer and expected a growing number of people to join, after gaining 1,104 new members in the first half of this year.
"The fact members are joining the society in increasing numbers is fantastic news," it told C+D. We have a strong offer in place and anticipate increased numbers of pharmacists joining us when students become pre-regs and when pre-regs qualify."
Earlier this month, the RPS officially launched its faculty, a professional recognition programme that aims to provide a "quality mark" to those outside pharmacy.
The RPS also confirmed last week that it generated nearly £11 million in profit from the sale of its Lambeth premises earlier this month and that it had bought the new site in East Smithfield, London, for £6m.
C+D's calculations for members benefiting from direct debit discount
Associate members = 2,548
1,911 pre-regs paying £67 a year = £128,037 (estimating that 75 per cent of associate members are pre-regs)
637 paying £182 a year = £115,934
Total = £243,971
Members and fellows = 26,174
26,174 paying £182 a year = £4,763,668
Total = £243,971 + £4,763,688 = £5,007,639
Associate members = 931
698 pre-regs paying £67 a year = £46,766 (estimating that 75 per cent of associate members are pre-regs)
233 full members paying £182 a year = £42,406
Total = £89,172
Members and fellows = 28,000
28,000 paying £182 a year = £5,096,000
Total = £89,172 + £5,096,000 = £5,185,172
Fee income fall between 2013 and 2012: £5,185,172 - £5,007,639 = £177,533 (3.4 per cent)
How can the RPS reverse the trend of declining fees income?