Pharmacy as a profession has developed rapidly in the last decade. From being addressed as a shop keeper to being recognised as clinical experts in medication. The importance of pharmacist as a professional was even more visible during the COVID pandemic, with pharmacies remaining open throughout the pandemic period.
The introduction of the MPharm curriculum that ensures students will now graduate as independent prescribers from 2026 is quite exciting. However, the individual pharmacists that are presently not independent prescribers need to be addressed. Pharmacists need to have access and opportunities to be able to develop themselves to a high standard of clinical practitioner, such as the independent prescriber.
The RPS should provide and encourage platforms and resources that would enable all pharmacists to achieve this status. This would ensure providing quality care to patients with increased skills, but also ensure pharmacists already on the register are on par with newly qualified ones and are not left behind.
RPS should facilitate the process of selecting a DP, which is usually the stumbling block for most pharmacists to start the programme in the first place. I had the same challenge when I completed my course back in 2010 and the situation is still similar 13 years on.
As an RPS board member, my mission is to get the RPS to facilitate this process of getting all pharmacists who want to upskill to become independent prescribers.
Waheedat Owodeyi, English Pharmacy Board candidate