The Pharmaceutical Society NI (PSNI) has announced plans to facilitate the payment of retention fees by quarterly instalments, beginning June 2024.

Last year, discontent with the burden of the cost of professional retention fees was communicated directly with the Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) National Officer for Northern Ireland, Una O’Farrell.

The association quickly took action on the comments received and issued a survey to members who are PSNI registrants, seeking their views as a collective.

The survey revealed that 97 per cent of members responding to the survey felt the fees were too high. 80 per cent of members surveyed would opt to pay in instalments if this option were available to them.

On average, the fees accounted for 23 per cent of a pharmacist’s take-home pay for one month.

The PDA presented these findings to the newly appointed chief executive and president of PSNI, who collaborated to find ways to alleviate this burden on pharmacists.

The association said: “The PDA is pleased to note that as an action of that meeting, the PSNI has listened to what pharmacists have said. This option to spread the cost brings the profession into line with peers, and the PDA is proud to have played a part in making this change on pharmacists behalf.

The PDA encourages all members to bring issues like this forward to representatives, networks and national officers, to inform future campaigning on pharmacists behalf.”

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