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Is it not time registered pharmacy technicians are allowed to join the RPS?

As one of many who advocated that registered pharmacy technicians should be able to join the new professional body for pharmacy in the past, I was disappointed that the then new Royal Pharmaceutical Society decided not to allow it.

I now see from the C&D that pharmacy technicians may join Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) as associate members for free. It said pharmacy technicians were an important part of the pharmacy team and membership should help them to provide the host of services that pharmacies now deliver. 

I hope that now the RPS has matured sufficiently in its professional leadership role that it may now consider this issue again. The advantages are clear. The RPS could more easily speak for pharmacy as well as pharmacists, it would give pharmacy technicians better support for continuing professional development and it would help both professions work with the regulator.

I suspect that pharmacy technicians at NVQ level 3 were a relatively new quantity to many in community pharmacy at the time the RPS became the professional body. One fear that swayed some opinion was that the new body would be swamped by non-pharmacists. The inclusion of pharmaceutical scientists has shown this is not the case and that the benefits of their inclusion far outweigh any disadvantages.

The time is right to revisit this topic and the RPS must now focus on the best way for pharmacy technicians to join, rather than deciding whether to allow them to do so.

Howard McNulty






Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20066058

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