John Murphy, the director of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), which provides professional indemnity insurance to pharmacists, has retired. The move has triggered a restructure in the body including the appointment of Tom Kirkbride as the PDA’s chief operating officer.
The PDA has around 26,000 members — around half of all practising UK pharmacists — and deals with more than 5,000 incidents per year. It also has a trade union, known as the PDA Union.
Murphy was a general manager when the PDA launched in 2003, and became director in 2008, while Kirkbride has worked in membership bodies such as The Law Society, The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and more recently The Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Mark Koziol, chair of the PDA, says Murphy had made an “outstanding” contribution to the success of the PDA and was “always a calm source of wise advice and never afraid to take on large and powerful organisations”.
“It was only upon his arrival at the PDA that he felt he had truly found his real pharmacy vocation,” he adds, “which was to help fellow professionals in need of support.”
Murphy will continue as a senior advisor to the PDA and as general secretary of the PDA Union.
As well as providing support for pharmacists with legal, practice and employment issues, the PDA seeks to influence the professional, practice and employment agenda to support members.
In particular, it has highlighted how pharmacists are being pressurised by some pharmacy owners to conduct unnecessary medicines use reviews and how this compromises professional integrity.