The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) said it has supported the application of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to rejoin the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the global body representing the interests of pharmacy.
Under FIP rules, if a new application from an additional organisation from the same country applies to join, the existing members in that country are consulted about that decision and are asked for their approval before FIP council members determine if the application is accepted.
The PDA joined FIP earlier this year, and RPS, which has decided not to renew FIP membership at the end of last year, has now submitted a fresh application to join.
RPS decision to leave, taken after a vote, has invited much criticism. The organisation, a founding member, had attributed high membership fees and associated costs for leaving FIP
While the PDA has confirmed that it would not oppose the membership application of the RPS, it has asked FIP to find a suitable method to ascertain a transparent declaration of membership numbers from the RPS in the event of FIP Council deciding to admit RPS.
This would “reassure everyone (including the PDA) that their voting allocation is based on accurate membership numbers,” the PDA said, adding that this would represent a positive development for UK pharmacists.
“The PDA is very aware of some concerns which were publicly raised about the way in which RPS recently announced, that it had left FIP. The PDA has felt and understood the frustration of pharmacists wanting to know why such a decision could have ever been made and it has also seen the commentary querying if RPS rejoining would duplicate what the PDA is now already doing in FIP for UK pharmacists,” the organisation said in a statement.
“However, on balance and given the specific role the PDA has in representing its members from across the whole of the UK, the PDA believes allowing RPS to join would provide those pharmacists who are not currently members of the PDA but are members of the RPS, as well as the smaller number of pharmacists that are not permitted to be members of the PDA such as pharmacy owners, superintendent pharmacists of large chains and senior managers, with the opportunity to add their perspective within the global pharmacy discussion.
“Ultimately, the PDA believes that it is in the interests of the British pharmacy leadership eco-system where the PDA and the RPS have different roles, for both organisations to be in membership of FIP.”
Decision-making at the FIP council relies upon votes apportioned by the size of membership represented and therefore, as an organisation with more than 30,000 pharmacists in membership the PDA said it can cast the maximum ten votes available to a single body.