Andrew Barnes (1956–2023)

andrew barnes

On 2 November 2023, Mr Andrew Barnes, aged 67 years, of Melton, Suffolk. Mr Barnes registered with the Society in 1980 and later became a Fellow.


It was with great sadness that I learned of Andy’s passing, after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer — a struggle which he bore with great dignity and little complaint. I first met Andy in 2008 when he came to work with me as a quality assurance specialist for the east of England. Andy was a deeply knowledgeable man who was quietly spoken, but always worth listening to. He had a dry sense of humour and a wonderful sense of fun, and was a friend as well as a workmate. He was widely respected for his work auditing hospital pharmacy aseptic units across seven counties in the east of England, for his role in the local education and training schemes for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and his advice was often sought by others on matters of drug stability and medicine formulation.

Andy was born and grew up in Atherstone, Warwickshire, with his sister Valerie. He enjoyed reading and school life and, as a teenager, he enjoyed walking, caving and was a member of the Shackerstone Railway Society. He chose to study pharmacy at Aston University, Birmingham, where he graduated in 1979. He undertook his preregistration training at Leicester Hospitals and stayed on as a basic grade pharmacist until 1982. He then undertook a PhD at Leicester Polytechnic, gaining his doctorate in 1988. A year working for Fisons was followed by a brief return to NHS quality control work, before he took up a post as principal lecturer at De Montfort University from 2000 to 2005. Andy returned to NHS quality control work in Birmingham before moving to Norfolk to work in regional quality assurance in 2008. He retired in 2016, but still worked part time at Ipswich Hospital in the quality control laboratory associated with the specials manufacturing unit. Andy was a long time contributor to the Aulton’s Pharmaceutics textbook, co-authoring a chapter on chemical stability in dosage forms. In 2021, Andy became a commissioner of the British Pharmacopoeia, a post which he reluctantly relinquished on health grounds only a few months ago.

In the summer of 1980, Andy met a young pharmacy technician, Alison, at a pharmaceutical lecture at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Engagement followed that Christmas, and they were married in the summer of 1981. Alongside his budding career, Andy welcomed two children, Thomas in 1987 and Harriet in 1990.

Andy was a keen gardener, and enjoyed learning new skills, such as playing the guitar, sailing and speaking German. In recent years, he was thrilled to meet his two grandchildren, Juliet in 2021 and Caspar in 2022. Being a grandparent gave Andy so much joy in his final years. Andy passed away at home surrounded by the love and support of his closest family.

Andy will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues. In lieu of flowers, Andy’s family would like to raise money for the charity In2scienceUK, which aims to provide young people from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to gain practical insight into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sector, as well as the knowledge and confidence to progress to university. A just giving page has been set up here.

Robert Lowe

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, November 2023, Vol 311, No 7979;311(7979)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.201316

1 comment

  • David Scott

    A great colleague. Sad to hear of his passing.


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