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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7185 p209-212
16 February 2002

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Letters are available in a single PDF* file (70K)

  Community pharmacy
  MMR vaccine
  Compliance aids
  The Society
  The Council

Letters to the Editor

  * PDF files on PJ Online require Acrobat Reader 4 or later.

The Society (3 letters)

Look after the pennies ...

From Mr P. A. McCree, MRPharmS

In the year when the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has imposed a fee increase many times the rate of inflation, I am staggered by the way in which retention fee forms have been distributed.

Lincoln Co-op operates 24 branches. The premises fee forms have space for only six addresses. I therefore received four forms, each in their own envelope and posted separately. If this has happened to us, I dread to think of the postman delivering to the headquarters of the national multiples. I know the answer will be that it is all done by computer, but you can program computers to do virtually anything. I accept the amount involved is relatively small but look after the pennies ...

Peter McCree

Members' and public interest not mutually exclusive

From Mr P. Jenkins, FRPharmS

Even at a time when the Government is treating us with little respect it seems that the profession is once again intent on fighting within itself over its priorities and responsibilities. Whatever the balance of the duties of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, as enshrined in the original Charter and modified over the years by Acts of Parliament, it is foolish to say that looking after the membership and looking after the public interest are mutually exclusive aims. They are complementary and both need to be fostered.

As part of the maintenance of a healthy population there is a need for a viable and flourishing network of community pharmacies backed up by pharmaceutical knowledge and expertise. To get the best overall results this needs a strongly motivated membership at grassroots level, and by this I mean all practitioners of pharmacy and not just members of the various committees. However, this will be undermined if there is the suspicion that our Society is not supporting us in all possible ways and at all times, and, as importantly, is not being seen to do so.

In most workplaces pharmacists have direct one-to-one contacts with patients and those who do not are patient-led in other ways. Even the administrators and full-time committee members in our midst know they have to satisfy patient aspirations to progress the various agendas. Or to put it the other way round, no one will last long if they are seen to act against patient interests, and if they do or transgress in other ways it is accepted that there should be a regulatory mechanism. However, that should not be the central task of our Society.

Any policies, either interpreting Government documents and directives or those initiated by the profession should look after both members' and patients' interests. In fact it seems obvious that you cannot look after patients without looking after pharmacists so there should be no conflicts in the Council's actions.

We are a profession which loves to set up working parties and subcommittees but, however we tackle our present and future responsibilities, it falls to the Council and the administration at Lambeth to keep the profession united and they must be seen to be doing so.

Peter Jenkins
Abercynon, Cardiff

Membership cards should be free

From R. I. Felix, FRPharmS

I am a member of a number of professional bodies, all of whom issue free membership cards each year. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society persists in levying a charge of £10, a practice which, I understand from previous correspondence with The Journal, is to continue. This is contrary to the practice of the early 1990s when membership cards were issued without charge.

I would be grateful if the Secretary and Registrar would give consideration to publishing the number of pharmacists who do in fact take up the offer of a membership card.


ANN LEWIS, Secretary and Registrar, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, replies:

In 2001, cards were requested by 900 pharmacists, just under 2 per cent of the register.


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