The Queen honours four people with connections to pharmacy

The Queen’s Birthday Honours lists recognise the achievements of a wide range of people from across the UK. This year, more than 1,000 people have been recognised for their achievements. The Pharmaceutical Journal has profiled four people who are pharmacists or have close connections with pharmacy or the pharmaceutical industry.

From left: Sir Michael Rawlins, Douglas Simpson, Nikesh Kotecha and Clive Page


Source: Courtesy of Sir Michael Rawlins

Sir Michael Rawlins

Sir Michael Rawlins has been made a GBE (Knight Grand Cross) for services to the safety of medicines, healthcare and innovation.

Rawlins, currently chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and also UK Biobank, was the founding chair of the then National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Under his leadership, NICE became an internationally renowned organisation, pioneering processes that have been copied the world over. It has facilitated faster NHS uptake of new technologies and procedures, offering opportunities to patients in a way not experienced before.

He was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines in 1980, was vice-chair from 1987–1992 and served as chair from 1993–1998.

He has previously served as chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and president of the Royal Society of Medicine. He is also an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, and emeritus professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

He was knighted in the 1999 New Year Honours for services to the improvement of patient protection from the side effects of medicines.

On being awarded a GBE, Rawlins said: “It is a tremendous honour to receive this prestigious award, and is a great recognition of the work the MHRA carries out to protect public health.

“Innovation has been a key focus for the agency over the past few years with the launch of our innovation office and the early access to medicines scheme, and I have been proud to have been part of this beneficial development in the health sector.”

Source: Courtesy of Douglas Simpson

Douglas Simpson

Douglas Simpson has been made an MBE for services to pharmaceutical journalism.

He developed his passion for journalism as a student at Sunderland School of Pharmacy while editing Dais, the monthly newspaper of the Sunderland Technical College students’ union. He worked for a short period as a community pharmacist before joining The Pharmaceutical Journal in 1965, where he started as a subeditor. In 1973, he became assistant editor and in the same year, rose to become senior assistant editor. In 1987, he was made editor of the journal.

In 1991, he introduced the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice as a vehicle for peer-reviewed research into the practice of pharmacy.

He was made editorial director of PJ Publications in 1996 and retired in August 2000.

From 2005 to 2012, he was editor of the monthly Independent Community Pharmacist, and in 2008 he helped the publication launch the Independent Pharmacy Awards to recognise excellence in this key branch of the profession. Since 2013, he has been consultant editor to ICP, taking an active role in editorial processes and touring the country to interview progressive community pharmacists.

In 1992, in association with Glaxo Pharmaceuticals, he launched the Pharmaceutical Care Awards, which, over the years, have been instrumental in bringing important professional developments to the attention of policy makers and the profession as a whole. They were the first pharmacy awards with a clinical component. He also introduced A4 practice checklist cards designed to bring pharmacists up to speed on key developments such as prescription only to pharmacy medicine switches.

Simpson, who is a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “I was very lucky to get a job on The Pharmaceutical Journal as a young pharmacist and to be able to progress through the ranks to become editor. Over the years, I have known and written about many excellent pharmacists and they have been an inspiration to me. I hope that my articles about them will have inspired others.”

In 2003, Simpson was elected to the RPS’s Council and in 2005 received the Society’s Charter gold medal.

Source: Courtesy of Nikesh Kotecha

Nikesh Kotecha

Nikesh Kotecha has been made an OBE for services to entrepreneurship, innovation in pharmaceutical services and philanthropy.

He is chief executive of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, based in Castle Business Park, Loughborough. The company supplies medicines and healthcare products to more than 80 countries. His company’s client base includes the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and Oxfam.

Around 12% of Morningside Pharmaceuticals’ turnover, which accounts for around £10m, comes from providing medicines to overseas aid projects in developing countries.

Nationally, the company supplies its products to NHS hospitals, Boots, LloydsPharmacy and many other pharmacy chains. Kotecha runs the business with his wife Moni. Their mission is to make quality healthcare both affordable and accessible throughout the world, and this has been the cornerstone of their success.

In 2012, Morningside Pharmaceuticals received the Queen’s Award for International Trade.

Kotecha said: “I am truly humbled and honoured to be made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents, who made so many sacrifices to ensure that their children received a good education, and my wife and children, who have helped me to achieve this honour and many other accomplishments. The credit for the success that Morningside Pharmaceuticals enjoys today goes to every single member of the Morningside team.”

Source: King’s College London

Clive Page

Clive Page has been made an OBE for services to pharmacology.

Page is a professor of pharmacology and director of the Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology at King’s College London. It was the work of his research team that led to the establishment of the institute in 1993. His main research interests are the pharmacology of inflammation and respiratory disease. He has published more than 250 scientific papers and contributed to more than 30 books, ranging from proceedings of international meetings to chapters in textbooks of pharmacology and respiratory medicine.

Page is also the co-founder and chairman of the board of Verona Pharma, a company developing new drugs for the treatment of respiratory diseases. He is non-executive director of Babraham Biotechnology, a non-executive director of the Board of Peptinnovate Ltd, PreP Biopharma and Epiendo, and a trustee of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. 

Page began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Sandoz, Basel, Switzerland, and regularly consults to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

He was awarded the Society of Biology President’s Medal in 2012. The medal is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the life sciences over the previous year.

Page was unavailable for comment on being made an OBE.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, July 2017, Vol 299, No 7903;299(7903):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203017

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