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“Joe Bloggs” pharmacist fighting for pharmacists

Pharmacy cuts, decreasing salaries, remote supervision and corporate employer forced targets (e.g. medicines use reviews) threaten pharmacy’s future and the safety of our patients.

England needs a strong voice. The voice of someone who can influence what is happening and is not afraid to put his head above the parapet.

My wife and I both work as pharmacists. I will look after pharmacists’ interests not least because pharmacy provides the only income that puts food on my children’s plates. We must have board members who regularly interact at the coal face with patients. I am still “Joe Bloggs” pharmacist and proud of it.

General Pharmaceutical Council fees mainly impact on small contractors, hospital, primary care, those working in GP surgeries, industry, locums and part-time pharmacists. Registrants’ fees should come down. We should not be subsidising the premises’ fee.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society must work closely with member organisations like the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists.

The board should be using its influence to reduce sweat shop pharmacies and the workload heaped on pharmacists in all sectors, while elevating us in the public’s eye to doctor status.

Pharmacists over the age of 65 years should not be charged any fees (or perhaps a nominal fee of around £20) for joining their Society.

Danger! Plans are afoot to change the regulations on supervision. There are those out there who are pushing strongly for pharmacies without pharmacists. This must not be allowed to happen.

Danger! Pharmacy medicines sales supervised by non-pharmacists.

Danger! Following the explosion of new universities more than 3,500 pharmacists are graduating each year, compared with 1,625 graduates in 2008. This is unfair on the graduates and registered pharmacists alike.

The danger of pharmacist unemployment. Now, with more pharmacists than jobs, the multiples will pay us as little as they can get away with. If you have a professional disagreement with an employer it can sometimes be difficult to maintain professional integrity when you know you can be replaced by someone who will play ball.

If “Joe Bloggs” pharmacist had not been fighting for pharmacists in the past few years then pharmacies without pharmacists would probably now be a reality. Mandate me to continue the fight.

Martin Astbury

Election Candidate, English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The candidate letters for the RPS national pharmacy board elections have not been edited by The Pharmaceutical Journal


Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202588

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