Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Peter Noyce

I have read the most impressive, eloquent and well-deserved tributes to Peter Noyce following his untimely death and would wish to add to these with some pertinent history for clinical pharmacists of today. Peter made many contributions to pharmacy practice but many clinical pharmacists will not be aware of the debt their current role is owed to him.

In the late 1970s and in the 1980s, evidence-based medicine alongside clinical pharmacy in hospital practice was being developed and championed by a small number of pioneers. This was set against a backcloth of a recruitment crisis in this sector and a significant number of ‘old school’ medical consultants in some hospitals who felt some degree of threat to their clinical freedom. They saw the recruitment crisis as an opportunity to force pharmacists back into the dispensary and our role limited to medicines supply.

One of Peter’s early initiatives when he moved to work in the Department of Health (DH) was to set about drafting the health circular “HC(88)54 The Way Forward for Hospital Pharmacy Services”. This enshrined clinical pharmacy practice in DH policy, put ‘old school’ consultants (and some pharmacists!) on the back foot and provided the solid foundation for its further advancement by those early pioneers. Clinical pharmacy owes much to Peter’s careful navigation of this policy development through the DH and the crafting and subsequent promulgation of HC(88)54.

Peter was always visionary and I suspect he knew that the clinical role our profession could fulfil would strengthen its foundation for the future both in hospital and subsequently community pharmacy practice. Our profession owes many things to Peter but enshrining clinical pharmacy practice in DH policy is one of the most important in improving direct patient care and one to which clinical pharmacists of today should also be indebted.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203537

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
PJJ Static MPU
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.