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Success in lobbying and digital publishing celebrated in 2017 RPS annual review

In the RPS annual review 2017, the president and chief executive promise to lobby to extend the UK-wide criminal defence against inadvertent dispensing errors to pharmacists working in other care settings.

The introduction of a UK-wide criminal defence against inadvertent dispensing errors has been heralded “an important victory” in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) 2017 annual review.

Ash Soni, RPS president, and Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, said that the new law had been won after considerable lobbying by the Society and promised that in 2018 they would work to ensure the same protection is offered to pharmacists working in other care settings, as the current defence only applies to community pharmacists.

In other lobbying news, the review stated that the RPS had responded to 64 government consultations in 2017. RPS Wales’s response to the National Assembly for Wales’s Health, Social Care and Sports Committee consultation on the use of antipsychotic medication in care homes led to several of the Society’s calls being adopted by the Committee in its post-consultation recommendations.

Digital publishing was identified as one of the major success story of the past 12 months. The redevelopment of MedicinesComplete was highlighted, as was the development and release of the British National Formulary (BNF) and BNF for Children app. The latter was installed by 150,000 people within 6 months of the phased launch in June 2017, and has, to date, been accessed nearly 4 million times.

According to the review, the publishing arm of the RPS generated £17.8m of revenue in 2017 with digital output accounting for 47% of this figure — an increase of £1.45m compared with 2016. Total revenue grew by 5.8% to £23.9m.

“Member-related income” stayed constant from 2016 to 2017. The RPS’s investment portfolio was reported to be down on 2016, although according to the review the Society said it was confident that returns over a longer period will be seen.

For the first time, the expenses of national pharmacy board member were included within the annual review. A total of £218,993 was used to cover board members’ costs, which included attendance at RPS offices, travel and locum coverage.

To see the full RPS Annual Review for 2017, and previous years’s reviews, visit the RPS website.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205010

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