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Equality and discrimination

Representative body championing black pharmacists in the NHS launches

An organisation has been set up to promote equality for pharmacists who identify as black.

The UK Black Pharmacists Association (UKBPA), which already has 300 members, aims to give a voice to people working in all sectors of the profession and in pharmacy schools who experience racial discrimination.

It will also collect information and data from its members to discover the main issues that affect them, and use the information to help develop solutions that enable workplace equality.

In an open letter to the pharmacy profession, the UKBPA said: “This think tank aims to create practical solutions to the current inequalities faced by black pharmacists in the UK.

“These inequalities have been evident for a while now, but are underdocumented and, therefore, hidden.”

The UKBPA highlights data uncovered by The Pharmaceutical Journal which show that almost half of pharmacists that were suspended or removed from the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) professional register over a three-year period were from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

It adds that despite promises, the GPhC and other pharmacy organisations have failed to successfully address the 66.2% pre-registration exam pass rate of black African students— the lowest pass rate of any ethnic group.

The UKBPA was set up by its current president Elsy Gomez Campos, who the organisation describes as a “visionary pharmacist … who is driven by a desire for change in the pharmacy sector.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206860

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