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Who is the most influential person in pharmacy?

C+D needs your help to create a shortlist of around 100 individuals

In 2013, C+D launched the Pharmacy50 app. For the first time, pharmacists were able to decide for themselves who the most influential people across the sector were.

After more than 37,000 reader votes, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge was named the most influential individual in community pharmacy (see full top five below).

To create the top 50 ranking, a shortlist of 100 individuals was selected from suggestions by readers and the C+D team. An app on C+D's homepage then selected pairs of the 100 individuals at random, and readers were able to vote for which of the two they thought was the most influential.

The final list of 50 included 11 representatives from pharmacy bodies, nine multiple executives or pharmacists, five independent pharmacists, four politicians and 14 individuals from the Department of Health, the NHS or regulatory bodies.

A new list needed

In the three years since the app was launched, a lot has changed in the sector – including many of the biggest players. We now have a new pharmacy minister (for the second time since 2013), and new top brass at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the National Pharmacy Association, to name but a few.

It makes 2017 the perfect time to launch a new and improved version of the app.

But before we do that, we need your suggestions for who to include in our shortlist of 100 names. These may be individuals who work in community pharmacy at a local or national level, or those have influence the sector from the outside.

Leave your comment below, email [email protected], or tweet @ChemistDruggist with the hashtag #Pharmacy50.

Once this shortlist has been finalised, they will be added to the app, for you to vote on.

Who were the top five most influential people in pharmacy in 2013?

1. Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer, NHS England

2. Rob Darracott, chief executive, Pharmacy Voice

3. Duncan Rudkin, chief executive, General Pharmaceutical Council

4. Helen Gordon, chief executive, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

5. Mike Holden, chief executive (at the time), National Pharmacy Association

Who do you think should make the shortlist?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

'Influence' on what exactly as the pharmacy profession heads on a downward spiral then its only too apparent that whatever clout they have is ignored by legislators, Anyway perhaps the GPHC fellow as that is fundamental in influencing the role of pharmacists and technicians.

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I can't think of a single thing that Keith Ridge has done to promote pharmacy and pharmacists. His influence has been absymal- a lapdog for the DOH

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Very well paid though.

Stephen B, Manager

I think the other commenters have somewhat missed the point. The list isn't necessarily about thosehaving a 'positive' influence on pharmacy, it's merely about those with influence. The spineless pharmacy minister, for example, isn't having a positive impact but he does wield influence. Regardless of what you think of the PSNC, Sue Sharpe and company hold considerable influence over the future of the sector and I do believe they're doing their best. They're certainly having more of an influence than Joe Bloggs the pharmacist in the C+D comments section. You're doing your best for your patients, but what impact are your negative comments having on the sector? Despondency isn't the answer, and I admire the people in our profession who are actively trying to shape and progress it's future. It's a tough position to be in, with a lot of (deserved) scrutiny. 

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

"Sue Sharpe and company" "doing their best" ... for contractors (a minority group in pharmacy with special interests) for years. When contractors do well, I used to think, naively, that will trickle down to pharmacists. Haha, This is a double sided coin, having a positive effect on renumeration (which is what the PSNC, a contractor representation body, is charged to do) may not translate into a positive effect on pharmacy, or employee pharmacists (the majority group on the register).

IAN FRASER, Locum pharmacist

When you invest £500,000 or more into something where do you expect to the treickle to go - Not to those who never wished to accept that burden but to those who dared and FYI there is no trickle left at the moment

Jupo Patel, Production & Technical

Soon 'they' will not invest anymore.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Hahaha, I think this is the wrong question ... it should be "Which is the most ineffective organisation in Pharmacy?". I nominate the GPhC.

Frustrated Pharmacist, Community pharmacist


Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Is that If they are so influential, wtf have they been doing all this time?

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Creaming it in and getting a nice big pension, which us poor sods will probably be paying!! Wet as bloody water, the lot of them! 

IAN FRASER, Locum pharmacist

Agreed Angela,

Those that risk nothing with their safety first pensions shoould know the other option before thay postulate but they never will and Sue Sharpe has never acheived an above inflation increase or above comparative professions.

As such both her and the PSNC must be classed as failures. It is time for something new such as  a refusal to impliment and NHS future plans and selective withdrawal from aspects of the contract such as not stocking contraceptives.

We would not be refusing to dispense an item but merely never bother to stock it for the £1.00 or so measely SAF.

Thus when PRE WARNED m.p.s begin to panick about unplanned pregancies or difficulties seeing their London mistresses(not all M.P.s obviously) they may start to analyse and acknowledge the cost of setting up an alternative distribution mechanism and realise what great value for money they actually get.



Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

All 5 as much use as a fart in a bottle ! 

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

""""those have influence"""" ........ this phrase is somehow doesn't feel right looking at the list. You need to specify what kind of influence you are looking at, when you name the most influential; whether the person is really doing something for the growth of the profession or making our life miserable as professionals. The above list sounds more like " who is the most powerful person"......... So, don't just make phrases, but please define what qualities you expect these people to have in judging whether they have any inflence in improving the status of our Profession, otherwise without doubt the most influencial person woud be the one taking shots, on what we should be doing as a profession, at the DoH (duh)

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