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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7195 p568-572
27 April 2002

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  Checking technicians
  Compliance aids
  Childhood vaccination
  Community pharmacy
  Hospital Pharmacy
  The Society
  Honorary auditors
  PJ Online

Letters to the Editor

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

The Society

Misleading suggestion

Clarification of response


Employee representation needed

Misleading suggestion

From Miss A. M. Lewis, FRPharmS

We welcome contributions to the debate on modernisation. However, it is misleading to suggest, as Robert Blyth et al have done (PJ, 20 April, p537), that modernising the Royal Pharmaceutical Society as a health professional regulator would compromise its professional role.

Indeed, the new blueprint for health professional regulation emphasises the wider range of professional and leadership activity that the Society, alone among health professional regulators, has developed as part of its remit. The challenge for the Society and its Council is to establish a contemporary framework to allow it to build on its heritage for the pharmacists of the future.

Ann Lewis
Secretary and Registrar
Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Clarification of response

From Mr A. D. Allen, FRPharmS

You published a response of mine to a letter from G. M. Hill et al (PJ, 13 April, p498).

In the response I stated: "At our meeting with the honorary auditors last year new systems were put in place: they will receive any information necessary in order to verify the governance of the accounts when they are presented to them this month. At no time during this financial year have they expressed any concern as to the appropriateness of the systems in place."

On reflection this statement is not factually correct. The systems for notifying the auditors during the financial year have not yet been set up. This in no way reflects on the competence of the honorary auditors and I apologise unreservedly for any inference that this may give to the members.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

David Allen
Royal Pharmaceutical Society


From Mr D. G. Carr, MRPharmS

Scanning the Council election candidates "who's who", it would appear that the majority are "professional" committee members who would seem to have little time actively to practise pharmacy. May I suggest to the electorate that it might be advantageous to vote for those candidates who are free to represent us without the distraction of numerous other appointments.

D. G. Carr
Great Bookham, Surrey

Employee representation needed

From Mr J. B. Paige, MRPharmS

The candidates for election to the Council of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society include many of the great and the good of the profession, but not a single one who could claim to represent me or the thousands of other pharmacists who work as employees in community pharmacy.

Our employers, the pharmacy contractors, have many organisations to represent them, including the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, the National Pharmaceutical Association and the Company Chemists Association etc, and they hold a permanent majority on the Society's Council.

The only pharmacy organisation which even includes representatives of employee community pharmacists is the Community Pharmacists Group of the Society and this has had its future put in doubt by the Council's decision to cut its funding.

As we are constantly reminded, pharmacy is going through a period of dramatic change and this will be carried through in the total absence of any input from ordinary employee pharmacists.

The interests of pharmacy contractors are not identical with the interests of their employees. The former are interested in providing goods or services with the minimum expenditure (especially on wages) and the maximum profit. Employees would probably like to use their training and experience in a way that would bring major benefit for patients, in return for an appropriate income. It is unlikely these two aims will ever be compatible.

Unless ordinary employee pharmacists are able and willing to impose true democracy on pharmacy organisations, including the Society, then the future for the majority of pharmacists is likely to be as depressing as the past.

J. Barrie Paige
Guernsey, Channel Islands


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