John D’Arcy has been given the 2018 Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Charter Award.
D’Arcy registered as a pharmacist in 1980, graduating from the University of London. In January 2018, he retired following eight years as managing director of Numark.
His career encompassed 17 years with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), beginning in 1990. He led the NPA as chief executive from 1996 until 2007, at which point he joined Rowlands Pharmacy as commercial director, and in 2008 he joined Numark, leading the pharmacy group from 2010.
In 1994, while working for the NPA, he qualified as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of London.
The Charter Award is presented annually on the recommendation of the RPS president. Presenting D’Arcy with the Charter medal at the RPS Annual General Meeting held on 21 June 2018, Ash Soni, current president of the RPS, said that D’Arcy had, throughout his career, “always made the time to speak to grassroots community pharmacists” throughout his career.
“No-one else has made such a direct impact on the day-to-day support community pharmacists receive.
“He is a motivator who gets the best out of everyone around him,” he added.
D’Arcy said he considered it an “absolute honour and privilege” to receive the award, and that he could not have wanted for a better career — despite being told by a lecturer 40 years ago that there was no future in community pharmacy.
“I didn’t believe that then, and I don’t believe it now,” he said.
“We’ve now got all-party support for the role of pharmacists, but once you’ve won over political support the difficult bit is putting it into practice.
“I would say what I’ve learned is this: make a difference, stand up and be counted and don’t leave it to someone else. Don’t put up with being ignored and side-lined.”