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Why the silence?

This week’s (13 December 2008) publication of the draft Pharmacy Order2009 (p683) is as important a development to the profession as therelease two weeks ago of the prospectus for the new professional body(29 November, p618)

This week’s (13 December 2008) publication of the draft Pharmacy Order 2009 (p683) is as important a development to the profession as the release two weeks ago of the prospectus for the new professional body (29 November, p618).

The Order, and associated consultation, will lead to the establishment of the General Pharmaceutical Council, which will be charged with registering and regulating pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and registering and inspecting pharmacy premises in England, Wales and Scotland.

Originally scheduled for launch on 1 January 2010, it seems that there will be a few months’ slippage but, 18 months from now, both the GPhC and the new professional body will be open for business.

In the whirl of activity surrounding the gestation of the professional body (the Clarke Inquiry, the deliberations of the Transitional Committee, research through Opinion Leader Research and The Journal’s “Have your say!” surveys, plus the many letters and articles published in The Journal), the equally significant emergence of the GPhC has been over-shadowed.

The Journal has been surprised that there has been so little reaction to the GPhC through our pages. It is hard to believe that there are not pharmacists who have been keeping half an eye on its unfolding story and who question some of the proposals. There has not even been a rumour of names of pharmacists thinking of applying to be part of its governing council.

Why the silence? Do pharmacists and technicians simply believe that its remit is a foregone conclusion or that, because it does not have a representative function, the GPhC is of no interest and the professional body will have a much greater impact on the practice and science of pharmacy?

The Journal suspects that, if these suggestions are part of the answer, the profession may be mistaken. This week we carry an article that includes some frequently asked questions about the GPhC (p694).

We look forward to receiving more queries and comments about the Order now that it is open to consultation for the next three months.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10043375

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