Alison Strath has been confirmed as the new chief pharmaceutical officer (CPO) for Scotland.
In the role, Strath will be the professional lead for NHS pharmaceutical care and medicines policy in Scotland, providing advice to the first minister, health secretary and wider ministerial team, and strategic leadership to the nation’s pharmacy profession.
According to a press release issued by the Scottish government on 11 August 2021, Strath has been working within the Scottish government since 2002, initially as principal pharmaceutical officer and, since October 2020, as interim CPO following the departure of Rose Marie Parr in July 2020.
Strath was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2010 and as an emeritus professor at the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen in 2018.
It was also announced that Graham Ellis and Nicola Steedman have been appointed deputy chief medical officers for Scotland.
Humza Yousaf, Scottish cabinet secretary for health and social care, said: “The past year has highlighted just how important health and social care is to the work of the Scottish government, and I’m delighted to welcome Professor Alison Strath as chief pharmaceutical officer and Professors Graham Ellis and Nicola Steedman as our new deputy chief medical officers.
“They will all play a key role in ensuring that health and social care advice informs our work across the board and adds value to our pandemic response.”
Strath said it was a “huge privilege and honour” to have been appointed. She added: “I will be concentrating on pharmacy’s contribution to the Government’s plans for the Recovery of the NHS in Scotland, the development of the four new Care Programmes and the establishment of the National Care Service.
“This will mean continuing to develop our community pharmacy services, enabling the transformation of hospital pharmacy and enhancing the role of pharmacy teams in GP practices.”
Clare Morrison, director of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, also welcomed the news of Strath’s appointment.
“Alison has been a fantastic leader of the profession through the pandemic and for many years before, and I am delighted that she has been appointed to the role of CPO.
“She is the perfect choice to further develop the role of pharmacists and to ensure that pharmacy is at the forefront of healthcare. I look forward to continuing to work closely with her and her team.”