Pharmacy organisations in the UK: a complicated web

Pharmacy is a diverse profession and this is reflected in the wide variety of organisations that can represent the interests of pharmacists, pharmacy owners, trainees and students. 

Download the full print version of the infographic here


Organisational breakdown

The breakdown below untangles the web, showing who each organisation represents, how many members it has, its income (where disclosed), its stated purpose and who leads it.

Primary and Community Care Pharmacy Network

Members: 230
Income: £4,300 (2015)
Stated purpose: To represent pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who provide medicines management services to community health services in the UK
Leadership: Iben Altman (chair)

Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Members: 350
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: UK-based professional body for scientists involved in research and development activities associated with medicines, medical devices and diagnostics
Leadership: Linda Hakes (chair)

Boots Pharmacists’ Association

Members: 1,646
Income: £90,774 (2015)
Stated purpose: A trade union that supports Boots pharmacists throughout their careers at the company
Leadership: Paul Robinson (chief executive officer), Khuram Ahmad (chair)

Pharmacy Voice

Pharmacy Voice (PV), whose members are the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), the Company Chemists’ Association and the Association of Independent Multiple pharmacies, is to disband after the NPA gave notice in 2016 that it wished to leave. The PV office will close in April 2017 and the organisation will be officially wound up over the summer.
Members: 3 trade associations representing some 11,000 pharmacies
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To represent community pharmacy in England with one, unified voice
Leadership: Rob Darracott (chief executive), Claire Ward (chair)

National Pharmacy Association

Members: Approximately 3,500 owners representing over 6,500 pharmacies (number not available for print issue)
Income: >£13.0m (2015-2016)
Stated purpose: To support independent community pharmacies in the UK to succeed professionally and commercially for the benefit of their patients
Leadership: Ian Strachan (chair)

Company Chemists’ Association

Members: 8
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To influence policy, support market development and represent its multiple pharmacy members
Leadership: Nanette Kerr (chief executive)

Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists

Members: 4,483
Income: Membership fees paid to Unite
Stated purpose: To defend the interests of individual employed pharmacists working in hospitals, primary care and other healthcare institutions for both the NHS and commercial healthcare providers throughout the UK
Leadership: Vilma Gilis (president)

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Members: Over 46,000
Income: £20.7m (2015)
Stated purpose: To lead the profession of pharmacy in Great Britain to improve the public’s health and well-being
Leadership: Alex Mackinnon (interim chief executive officer), Martin Astbury (president)

Pharmacists’ Defence Association

Members: Over 26,000
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To act upon and support the needs of individual pharmacists in the UK and, when necessary, defend their reputation; includes a trade union arm
Leadership: Tom Kirkbride (chief operating officer), Mark Koziol (chair)

Primary Care Pharmacy Association

Members: 2,470
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the UK with an interest in primary care
Leadership: Liz Butterfield (chair)

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Represents: 11,700 pharmacies
Income: £3.4m (2015-2016)
Stated purpose: To represent NHS community pharmacy contractors in England and negotiate the NHS community pharmacy contractual framework with the government on members’ behalf
Leadership: Sue Sharpe (chief executive officer)

Community Pharmacy Wales

Represents: 717 pharmacies
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To represent NHS community pharmacy contractors in Wales on all matters relating to community pharmacy based NHS services and negotiate the Welsh community pharmacy contractual framework
Leadership: Russell Goodway (chief executive), Phil Parry (chair)

Community Pharmacy Scotland

Represents: 1,253 pharmacies
Income: £1.2m (2015-2016)
Stated purpose: To represent community pharmacy owners in Scotland and negotiate terms and conditions of service, and remuneration and reimbursement, with the Scottish government on their behalf
Leadership: Harry McQuillan (chief executive officer), Martin Green (chair)

British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

Members: 15,000
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To represent, educate and entertain pharmacy students and preregistration trainees in Great Britain; the official student organisation of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Leadership: Amit Parekh (president)

Association of Independent Multiple pharmacies

Members: 132
Income: Not disclosed
Stated purpose: To promote, protect and support the business, political and professional interests of independent multiple companies through representation and negotiation
Leadership: Colin Baldwin (chief executive), Peter Cattee (chair)

Other organisations

Many more organisations exist within pharmacy, performing a variety of roles in education, training, oversight and advocacy.

Regulators: General Pharmaceutical Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

Clinical specialist groups: UK Clinical Pharmacy Association, British Oncology Pharmacy Association, HIV Pharmacy Association, Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group, UK Renal Pharmacy Group, Association of Supportive and Palliative Care Pharmacy, College of Mental Health Pharmacy, United Kingdom Radio Pharmacy Group, British Pharmaceutical Nutrition Group

Educational institutions: Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education, College of Pharmacy Practice, Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, Health Education England, NHS Education for Scotland, Workforce, Education and Development Services

European organisations: European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union, European Society of Clinical Pharmacy, European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy, European Industrial Pharmacists Group

Other: International Pharmaceutical Federation, All-Party Pharmacy Group, Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK


Infographic: Maria Angel Gonzalez

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, March 2017, Vol 298, No 7899;298(7899):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202503

You may also be interested in