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PJ Online | News: Institute of Pharmacy Management International criticises Society’s "biased" modernisation process

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 269 No 7213 p269
31 August 2002

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Institute of Pharmacy Management International criticises Society’s "biased" modernisation process

The Institute of Pharmacy Management International has joined the criticism of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's modernisation process, calling it "biased" and "predetermined". However, the IPMI has told the Society it is broadly in favour of some of the Society's key proposals.

In a letter to the Society's President (Marshall Davies), IPMI secretary Nick Wood says that questions accompanying consultation papers published in The Journal appear to be "designed with an underlying bias" such that they will produce "a predetermined format for the Society's Council that [is] believed to be favoured by the Modernisation Steering Group". Mr Wood, on behalf of the IPMI's council, says: "It was thought that the questions might provide answers leading to proposals which, while they might satisfy Government and Parliament, would be at the expense of representation of the members."

The letter continues: "In addressing the questions posed, the [IPMI] council was concerned, therefore, that they would not have simple answers. Most were interlinked and some, such as that on the system of voting, were separate issues to modernisation. However, primarily, the council of the institute obtained the impression that the manner in which the Modernisation Steering Group was structuring its consultation was designed to lead to only one outcome that was broadly predetermined. The outcome appeared to be one that might be politically expedient, rather than in the best interests of the members of the Society."

Replying to the IPMI, Mr Davies says: "The only comment I would make as chairman of the Modernisation Steering Group is that the aims are to facilitate a sustainable future for the profession and its members. We have to be cognisant of legislation, as I am sure you recognise, but we are not driven by political expediency."

The IPMI has told the Society that it is broadly in favour of its Council having the responsibilities set out in the 15 June consultation paper "as long as it continues to be the representative body for the members of the Society as well as looking to the interests of other stakeholders". Changes to the Council's composition should be "only so far as to make provision to meet its responsibilities for its regulatory function", the IPMI says. "There should be sufficient professional membership of the Council to represent the Society's members".

The IPMI wants to see the smallest possible Council, "possibly below 20 members" with places for pharmacy technicians among the non-pharmacists and reserved places for sectional interests but not for England, Scotland and Wales. Which voting system should be used is a matter for individual members of the Society to decide.

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