RPS publishes membership figures for first time in 2021 annual report

Membership numbers for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society declined by around 1,500 in 2021, compared with 2020, but the Society reported an increase in revenue.
paul bennett, chief executive of the royal pharmaceutical society

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has included membership figures for the first time in its annual report for 2021.

Published on 5 May 2022, the report said that the RPS had 38,630 members at the end of 2021, the Society’s 180th anniversary year. This is a fall compared with the same point in 2020, when there were 40,194 members.

The report noted that there has been growth in member, student, fellow and pharmaceutical scientist membership, but that “associate membership remains a challenge”.

The report does not include figures for the different membership categories.

Income from membership has increased to £4.7m in 2021, compared with £4.6m in 2020, owing to “improved upgrades from foundation trainee (associate) to member”, according to the report.

Revenue from publishing increased by 3% to £18.5m.

Overall, the Society exceeded revenue budgets by £1.2m (5%) and ended the year with an operating surplus of £0.9m, “which was considerably stronger than budget and the previous year”, the report said.

In a review of 2021, published alongside the financial reports, the report said it hosted 596 events, attended by around 19,000 delegates; responded to more than 60 consultations; and recorded around 12,000 listens to The Pharmaceutical Journal’s podcast The PJ Pod.

It also highlighted that PharmPress won the Professional Publishers Association’s Business Intelligence Product of the Year for MedicinesComplete and the launch of Critical Illness.

Commenting on the annual report, Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, said the Society was “delighted to have had such a strong year financially in 2021, despite a number of challenges very much beyond our control, not least the global COVID-19 pandemic and its knock-on effects”.

“With the rise in inflation, energy prices soaring and the hangover from the pandemic, it is not a surprise that many have had to tighten their budgets.

“We’ve recently addressed queries about royal college status, [International Pharmaceutical Federation] membership and recent restructuring in the organisation to coincide with our five-year strategy published in March 2021, and strongly believe membership numbers and account figures will be healthy once again.”

The 2021 annual report will be discussed in more detail, along with motions submitted by Society members, at the 2022 RPS annual general meeting (AGM), which will be held online on 25 May 2022. Places at the AGM can be booked through the RPS website.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2022, Vol 308, No 7961;308(7961)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.142045

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