Rose Marie Parr, former chief pharmaceutical officer (CPO) for Scotland, has received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021.
Parr, who is a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and was recognised for her services to pharmacy and pharmaceutical education, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that she was “so thrilled” to be included in the honours list.
Parr was Scotland’s CPO from April 2015 until July 2020. Prior to this, she held roles as director of Postgraduate Pharmacy Education for Scotland and, later, as director of pharmacy at NHS Education for Scotland. In 2007, she was elected as the first chair of the then Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s Scottish Pharmacy Board.
On 1 April 2020, she took up a position on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC’s) governing body. Parr is currently co-chair of the GPhC’s advisory group on the implementation of new standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists.
“For me, this is all about recognition of the pharmacy profession, and the fantastic patient services that both community and hospital pharmacy teams deliver to the people of the communities we serve,” she said. “It’s absolutely about pharmaceutical care and kindness in our pharmacy community.”
“Personally, I am also ‘chuffed to bits’ — as they say in Scotland — about this award and the wider recognition for pharmacy in Scotland.
“As a working woman pharmacist, I have had the great pleasure of working in a profession that I am still passionate about. It’s been a great honour to be able to contribute to pharmacy over the years”.
Parr added that it was “very important to me personally to say a huge thanks to all of the pharmacies and pharmacy teams across the UK that have delivered fantastic pharmaceutical care over the years, and especially now throughout this pandemic”.
In May 2021, Parr was presented with the RPS Charter Award in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to the profession”.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 also included community pharmacist Nigel Arthur Dugmore, pharmacy superintendent at Donnington Pharmacy in Shropshire. Dugmore was awarded an OBE for services to pharmacy and his local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also recognised this year was Peter Michael Vardy Thompson, former chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. Thompson has received an OBE for services to medicines supply resilience and development.
Several people who contributed to the development and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines were also awarded honours.
Sarah Gilbert, who holds the Saïd Professorship of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute & Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, has received a damehood for services to science and public health in COVID-19 vaccine development.
Gilbert was recognised for her “pivotal role in developing a COVID-19 vaccine”, a spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said.
Kate Bingham, former chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, has also received a damehood for services to the procurement, manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Richard Turner, research and development director at AstraZeneca, received an OBE for services to pharmaceutical manufacture and the COVID-19 response.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have seen countless examples of every day heroes. From those using their expertise to help develop life-saving vaccines, which are now being rolled out successfully to all parts of the UK, to the people who have given time and energy to care for their communities.
“We should take heart from the stories of those receiving honours today, and be inspired by their courage and kindness. May they be a reminder of all that we can achieve when we come together as a society.”